ssdi application

Our Accomplished Louisiana Social Security Disability Lawyer Helps Clients Gather Essential Medical Evidence to Support Their Claim for Benefits

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is an involved and lengthy undertaking that results in an initial denial for many applicants. Insufficient evidence from acceptable medical sources (AMS) is one of the most common reasons the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies claims. Phillip M. Hendry Law guides clients through this complex process, helping them recognize AMS, gather vital evidence, and submit a complete and accurate application.

Providing medical evidence proving that you have a severely disabling condition is crucial when applying for Social Security disability Insurance (SSDI). The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires extensive documentation from acceptable medical sources (AMS) to establish the existence of your medically determinable impairment (MDI). We explain which providers qualify as AMSs, what evidence can support your claim, and how our experienced Louisiana Social Security disability lawyer can help you complete your application. 

Identifying Acceptable Medical Sources (AMS)

There are numerous types of health care providers, which can make identifying AMS seem daunting. However, recognizing acceptable medical sources doesn’t have to be difficult. The SSA defines AMS as licensed medical or osteopathic doctors and other providers licensed or certified within their fields of practice.

Other examples of AMS for SSDI claims include:

  • Licensed or certified psychologists who have met the requirements for independent practice
  • Licensed optometrists treating visual disorder impairments or measuring visual acuity and visual fields
  • Licensed podiatrists addressing foot and ankle impairments
  • Licensed, certified, or otherwise qualified speech-language pathologists (SLPs) treating speech or language impairments
  • Licensed physician assistants (PAs) addressing impairments within their licensed scope of practice
  • Licensed audiologists assessing hearing loss or treating auditory processing and balance disorders within their licensed scope of practice 
  • Licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN)—also known as Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) such as Certified Nurse Midwifes (CNMs), Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), and Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) addressing impairments within their licensed scope of practice 

Remember, to be an AMS, the provider must be licensed or certified, treating within their field of practice, and, in some cases, providing evidence for specific impairments.

Other Medical Sources and Their Role in Your SSDI Claim

The Social Security Administration (SSA) only considers objective medical evidence from AMSs when determining whether you have an MDI. If the SSA can establish one or more MDIs, it will consider additional evidence from other sources for information on severity and other factors. These sources include health care providers who are not AMSs, such as chiropractors, naturopaths, and therapists.

Evidence From AMSs to Include With Your Application 

When evaluating SSDI applications, SSA claims examiners at state Disability Determination Services (DDS) offices review multiple categories of medical evidence.

Objective Medical Evidence

The most impactful information you can provide supporting your claim for SSDI benefits is objective medical evidence, which includes signs and/or laboratory findings from acceptable medical sources (AMSs).

Medical Opinions

Though statements from treating physicians aren’t considered objective medical evidence, they can still help your claim by providing the SSA with vital information on your condition and what you can do despite your impairments. Medical opinions can also provide insight into impairment-related limitations or restrictions in one or more of the following areas:

  • Work-related physical demands, such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, and manipulative or postural functions, like reaching, handling, stooping, or crouching
  • Work-related mental tasks such as understanding; remembering; maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace; following instructions; or responding appropriately to job pressures, coworkers, and supervision
  • Other work-related demands, like seeing, hearing, and using other senses
  • Adapting to extreme temperatures, fumes, and other environmental conditions 

Other Medical Evidence

The SSA also considers information about the nature and severity of your impairments, medical history, clinical findings, diagnosis, prescribed treatment and response, and prognosis. 

Get Help With Your Claim From Application to Approval 

When you’re dealing with a severely disabling medical condition, the last thing you want is to brave the SSDI application process alone. At Phillip M. Hendry Law, our team is here to support your Social Security disability journey from application to approval.