As a Cincinnati social security lawyer I read hundred of medical records. These are records I get for my social security disability clients that are filing for social security disability. I order these records from their doctor's offices because medical evidence is critical.
More and more I see that a nurse practitioner has been the person seeing my social security applicants. This is an issue since their "testimony" is not as strong as a medical doctor. In fact there is a social security ruling on this issue.
Here is the complicated ruling. you can skip to the end and I'll tell you what it means and what to do.
The SSR 06-3P states:
In addition to evidence from “acceptable medical sources,” we may use evidence from “other sources,” as defined in 20 CFR 404.1513(d) and 416.913(d), to show the severity of the individual's impairment(s) and how it affects the individual's ability to function. These sources include, but are not limited to:
• Medical sources who are not “acceptable medical sources,” such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, licensed clinical social workers, naturopaths, chiropractors, audiologists, and therapists; and
• “Non-medical Sources” including, but not limited to:
• Educational personnel, such as school teachers, counselors, early intervention team members, developmental center workers, and daycare center workers;
• Public and private social welfare agency personnel, rehabilitation counselors; and
• Spouses, parents and other caregivers, siblings, other relatives, friends, neighbors, clergy, and employers.
Information from these “other sources” cannot establish the existence of a medically determinable impairment. Instead, there must be evidence from an “acceptable medical source” for this purpose. However, information from such “other sources” may be based on special knowledge of the individual and may provide insight into the severity of the impairment(s) and how it affects the individual's ability to function.
The ruling further states:
“Accordingly, this ruling clarifies how we consider opinions and other evidence from medical sources who are not “acceptable medical sources” and from “non-medical sources,” such as teachers, school counselors, social workers, and others who have seen the individual in their professional capacity, as well as evidence from employers, spouses, relatives, and friends. This ruling also explains how we consider decisions on disability made by other governmental and nongovernmental agencies.”
The Bottom line is a Cincinnati social security lawyer should get a doctor to co-sign anything the nursse sends you such as an RFC. The nurse should be given weight for the social security application for any rstrictions or limitations, but the nurse really can not offer a diagnosis that will hold weight.
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