(a) Sources who can provide evidence to establish an impairment. We need evidence from acceptable medical sources to establish whether you have a medically determinable impairment(s). See § 416.908. Acceptable medical sources are—
(1) Licensed physicians (medical or osteopathic doctors);
(2) Licensed or certified psychologists. Included are school psychologists, or other licensed or certified individuals with other titles who perform the same function as a school psychologist in a school setting, for purposes of establishing mental retardation, learning disabilities, and borderline intellectual functioning only;
(3) Licensed optometrists, for purposes of establishing visual disorders only (except, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, licensed optometrists, for the measurement of visual acuity and visual fields only). (See paragraph (f) of this section for the evidence needed for statutory blindness);
(4) Licensed podiatrists, for purposes of establishing impairments of the foot, or foot and ankle only, depending on whether the State in which the podiatrist practices permits the practice of podiatry on the foot only, or the foot and ankle; and
(5) Qualified speech-language pathologists, for purposes of establishing speech or language impairments only. For this source, “qualified” means that the speech-language pathologist must be licensed by the State professional licensing agency, or be fully certified by the State education agency in the State in which he or she practices, or hold a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
(b) Medical reports. Medical reports should include—
(1) Medical history;
(2) Clinical findings (such as the results of physical or mental status examinations);
(3) Laboratory findings (such as blood pressure, X-rays);
(4) Diagnosis (statement of disease or injury based on its signs and symptoms);
(5) Treatment prescribed with response, and prognosis; and
(6) A statement about what you can still do despite your impairment(s) based on the acceptable medical source's findings on the factors under paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(5) of this section (except in statutory blindness claims). Although we will request a medical source statement about what you can still do despite your impairment(s), the lack of the medical source statement will not make the report incomplete. See § 416.927.
(c) Statements about what you can still do. At the administrative law judge and Appeals Council levels, we will consider residual functional capacity assessments made by State agency medical and psychological consultants and other program physicians and psychologists to be “statements about what you can still do” made by nonexamining physicians and psychologists based on their review of the evidence in the case record. Statements about what you can still do (based on the acceptable medical source's findings on the factors under paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(5) of this section) should describe, but are not limited to, the kinds of physical and mental capabilities listed as follows (See §§ 416.927 and 416.945(c) ):
(1) If you are an adult, the acceptable medical source's opinion about your ability, despite your impairment(s), to do work-related activities such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, carrying, handling objects, hearing, speaking, and traveling;
(2) If you are an adult, in cases of mental impairment(s), the acceptable medical source's opinion about your ability to understand, to carry out and remember instructions, and to respond appropriately to supervision, coworkers, and work pressures in a work setting; and
(3) If you are a child, the medical source's opinion about your functional limitations compared to children your age who do not have impairments in acquiring and using information, attending and completing tasks, interacting and relating with others, moving about and manipulating objects, caring for yourself, and health and physical well-being.
(d) Other sources. In addition to evidence from the acceptable medical sources listed in paragraph (a) of this section, we may also use evidence from other sources to show the severity of your impairment(s) and how it affects your ability to work or, if you are a child, how you typically function compared to children your age who do not have impairments. Other sources include, but are not limited to—
(1) Medical sources not listed in paragraph (a) of this section (for example, nurse-practitioners, physicians' assistants, naturopaths, chiropractors, audiologists, and therapists);
(2) Educational personnel (for example, school teachers, counselors, early intervention team members, developmental center workers, and daycare center workers);
(3) Public and private social welfare agency personnel; and
(4) Other non-medical sources (for example, spouses, parents and other caregivers, siblings, other relatives, friends, neighbors, and clergy).
(e) Completeness. The evidence in your case record, including the medical evidence from acceptable medical sources (containing the clinical and laboratory findings) and other medical sources not listed in paragraph (a) of this section, information you give us about your medical condition(s) and how it affects you, and other evidence from other sources, must be complete and detailed enough to allow us to make a determination or decision about whether you are disabled or blind. It must allow us to determine—
(1) The nature and severity of your impairment(s) for any period in question;
(2) Whether the duration requirement described in § 416.909 is met; and
(3) Your residual functional capacity to do work-related physical and mental activities, when the evaluation steps described in § 416.920(e) or (f)(1) apply, or, if you are a child, how you typically function compared to children your age who do not have impairments.
(f) Evidence we need to establish statutory blindness. If you are applying for benefits on the basis of statutory blindness, we will require an examination by a physician skilled in diseases of the eye or by an optometrist, whichever you may select.
[45 FR 55621, Aug. 20, 1980, as amended at 56 FR 5553, Feb. 11, 1991; 56 FR 36964, Aug. 1, 1991; 58 FR 47577, Sept. 9, 1993; 62 FR 6421, Feb. 11, 1997; 65 FR 11878, Mar. 7, 2000; 65 FR 34958, June 1, 2000; 65 FR 54777, Sept. 11, 2000; 71 FR 16459, Mar. 31, 2006; 72 FR 9242, Mar. 1, 2007; 76 FR 24810, May 3, 2011]
Title 20 published on 2012-04-01
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