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Who does the SSA consider an acceptable medical source?

Presenting credible medical information that proves you are disabled can make the difference in gaining approval for Social Security Disability. One of the things you can expect the Social Security Administration (SSA) to look at are the qualifications of the Georgia medical professional who has diagnosed you. If your doctor does not possess the right credentials, your claim could be denied.

The SSA states that the documents a claimant provides are to come from “acceptable medical sources” as defined by federal regulation. As the SSA website explains, these sources can consist of a number of different professionals. As you might expect, licensed physicians are considered acceptable by the SSA, which may include medical (M.D.) or osteopathic (O.D.) doctors.

Since some disabilities affect specific parts of the body, they will require the expertise and diagnosis of specialty professionals. If you have problems with your sight, the SSA will accept documentation provided by licensed optometrists. Similarly, if you have issues with your feet or ankles, a licensed podiatrist is allowed to document your condition.

Some disabilities will impair a person’s cognitive abilities, in which case a certified or licensed psychologist may need to diagnose your condition. The SSA will accept these professionals, which can include people who are school psychologists or perform the same function, to establish that someone has problems learning or has reduced intellectual capabilities.

In the event you suffer from speech problems, the SSA permits medical evidence submitted by speech-language pathologists. Federal law dictates that pathologists are qualified on account of being licensed by a professional licensing agency or that the professional has a complete certification by the state’s education agency. The pathologist can also be certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

There are many disabilities that qualify for SSD, with different doctors and professionals that can diagnose them. For this reason, do not consider this article as legal advice. Its purpose is to educate readers on Social Security Disability topics.