The Role of the Medical Expert at a New Jersey Social Security Hearing
If your claim for disability benefits was denied, the next step is a social security hearing. This is presided over by an administrative law judge (ALJ), who may call upon a medical expert to evaluate your case.
In order to protect your rights, it may be in your best interest to secure help from a Morristown social security lawyer. They serve as your legal representation and ensure your case is treated fairly.
Medical Expert at a Social Security Hearing
During the claims process, doctors will likely be involved. Your own physician will generally be the one who diagnoses your disability. Sometimes, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will require you see one of their doctors.
However, if your case proceeds to a hearing the ALJ may ask for yet another medical expert to become involved. When this happens, it could be for any number of reasons.
Some of the roles that a medical expert can play in a social security hearing include:
- offer their opinion on the claimant’s symptoms (and if they match the diagnosed condition);
- determine if a medical condition is likely to last the required minimum of 12 months;
- offer their opinion when new medical evidence is entered;
- establish the underlying conditions (especially when different doctors have provided different diagnoses);
- review the file to determine if a claimant’s impairment is severe;
- estimate or establish an onset date of the condition; and
- provide work limitations that the claimant may have based on the impairment.
What a medical expert says can make or break a case. While decisions on social security claims aren’t based solely on the medical expert's testimony, it can play a significant role.
Help from a Morristown Social Security Lawyer is Just a Phone Call Away
The good news is that even if a medical expert is called in to evaluate your case, there are ways to combat this. Of course, securing help from an experienced social security lawyer is the first step you should take.
A lawyer may be able to object to the medical expert’s testimony, call upon your doctor to testify, and more. A Morristown social security lawyer can help substantiate your claims of disability and improve your chance of a favorable outcome.
The law firm of Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr. LLC represents good, honest people in work accidents, New Jersey Workers' Compensation cases, Social Security disability claims, and New Jersey car accident claims. Call us at 973-285-1100 today for a free consultation.