The Social Security Administration administers the disability benefits to those individuals who have a medical condition that would prohibit them from working for more than a year or would result in death. One must prove their eligibility in the program and those requirements are guided by federal regulations that also stipulate the type of evidence that can be provided and how much weight will be given to the evidence.

Of the factors considered, the Social Security Administration was to give controlling weight to medical opinions, including those from the claimant’s own healthcare provider. New York residents may not be aware that under new federal regulations, this has changed. Where previously the physician’s report that supported the applicant’s SSD benefits claim was given significant weight, starting this week this is no longer the case. Instead, the Social Security Administration will consider the persuasiveness of opinions and prior administrative hearings, based on several stipulated factors.

According to the SSA, the rules regarding evidence have been reorganized and treating sources changed in order to reflect the manner in which individuals are receiving healthcare and to highlight the need for objective medical evidence in disability claims. However, many are arguing this may make it harder for people to prove they are entitled to disability benefits.

When someone is entitled to disability benefits, the changes in the federal regulations should not affect their case, as long as it is properly prepared. Even though the changes can seem overwhelming and bleak for those looking to apply for social security disability benefits, an experienced attorney can review one’s application to ensure that it meets the requirements.