What does Treating Source mean?
If a claimant has applied for SSDI or SSI benefits and has met the nonmedical requirements the Social Security Administration will request their most recent medical records from the claimant's treating sources.
According to the SSA, acceptable medical sources include all licensed physicians (medical and osteopathic doctors, including psychiatrists), psychologists, optometrists, podiatrists and speech-language pathologists. Information gathered from treating sources to support the claimant's claim they are disabled can include the patient's medical history, clinical and laboratory findings, diagnoses, treatment history, including response to treatment and prognosis of outcome and statement of residual function, which details what a claimant can do despite their disabling condition.
It is also important to note that the SSA has stated they will give deference to a treating source's medical opinion, and they are not allowed to "substitute their own judgment for the opinion of a treating source on the issue(s) of the nature and severity of an impairment when the treating source has offered a medical opinion that is well-supported by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques and is not inconsistent with other substantial evidence."