Medical Experts at Social Security Hearings

These days, many applicants for Social Security Disability are examined by an appointed Medical Examiner.  Sometimes the opinions rendered are quite helpful in supporting the position of the Claimant.  Other times, the exam conducted by the Medical Examiner is brief and superficial and can entirely miss the core issues.

In addition to Medical Examiners, a Social Security Judge commonly appoints a Consultative Examiner.  This is a physician or psychologist who has never examined the Claimant.  Instead, the Consultative Examiner will review the medical records and will offer an opinion for the Social Security Judge, as to whether the records themselves, support the claim.  At hearing, before a Medical Expert or Consultative Examiner testifies, the Judge must:

  • Ensure that the Medical Expert has examined the entire medical file and other evidence of record
  • Ensure that the record contains an accurate statement of the Medical Expert’s professional qualifications.
  • Give the Claimant and attorney an opportunity to question the Medical Expert about his or her professional qualifications.
  • Summarize the opening statement and all relevant issues and testimony for the Medical Expert.

While most Social Security Judges are careful to follow these rules, in some cases the Medical Experts are without a proper foundation.  This could certainly prejudice and hurt the Claimant’s case.

Social Security Disability Attorney Randy Zeldin, Esq. is available for representation of Claimants pursuing Social Security Disability claims in Ft. Lauderdale; Boca Raton and West Palm Beach.