20 CFR § 404.1616 - Medical consultants and psychological consultants.

§ 404.1616 Medical consultants and psychological consultants.

(a)What is a medical consultant? A medical consultant is a member of a team that makes disability determinations in a State agency (see § 404.1615), or who is a member of a team that makes disability determinations for us when we make disability determinations ourselves. The medical consultant completes the medical portion of the case review and any applicable residual functional capacity assessment about all physical impairment(s) in a claim.

(b)What qualifications must a medical consultant have? A medical consultant is a licensed physician, as defined in § 404.1502(a)(1).

(c)What is a psychological consultant? A psychological consultant is a member of a team that makes disability determinations in a State agency (see § 404.1615), or who is a member of a team that makes disability determinations for us when we make disability determinations ourselves. The psychological consultant completes the medical portion of the case review and any applicable residual functional capacity assessment about all mental impairment(s) in a claim. When we are unable to obtain the services of a qualified psychiatrist or psychologist despite making every reasonable effort (see § 404.1617) in a claim involving a mental impairment(s), a medical consultant will evaluate the mental impairment(s).

(d)What qualifications must a psychological consultant have? A psychological consultant can be either a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. We will only consider a psychologist qualified to be a psychological consultant if he or she:

(1) Is licensed or certified as a psychologist at the independent practice level of psychology by the State in which he or she practices; and

(2)

(i) Possesses a doctorate degree in psychology from a program in clinical psychology of an educational institution accredited by an organization recognized by the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation; or

(ii) Is listed in a national register of health service providers in psychology which the Commissioner of Social Security deems appropriate; and

(3) Possesses 2 years of supervised clinical experience as a psychologist in health service, at least 1 year of which is post-masters degree.

(e)Cases involving both physical and mental impairments. In a case where there is evidence of both physical and mental impairments, the medical consultant will evaluate the physical impairments in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, and the psychological consultant will evaluate the mental impairment(s) in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.

[82 FR 5873, Jan. 18, 2017]