What the ALJ Might Ask the Medical Expert
Serving the Western United States
A medical expert (ME) might be called as a witness and may give a medical opinion as to whether or not you qualify for disability benefits, but such an opinion is not binding on the ALJ. A knowledgeable social security claim attorney can cross-examine an ME in a way so that the ME agrees to certain facts that point toward your disability.
The following is the Office of Disability, Adjudication and Reviews’ official list of suggested questions for ALJs to use when getting expert testimony from the MEs. These questions can help you cross-examine the ME.
- Please state your full name and address
- Is the attached curriculum vitae a correct summary of your professional qualifications?
- Are you board certified in any medical field and, if so, which field?
- Are you aware that your responses to these interrogatories are sought from you in the role of an impartial medical expert?
- Has there been any prior communication between the Administrative Law Judge and you regarding the merits of this case?
- Have you ever personally examined the claimant?
- Have you read the medical data pertaining to the claimant which we furnished you
- Is there sufficient objective medical evidence of record to allow you to form an opinion on the claimant’s medical status? If not, what additional evidence is required?
- Please list the claimant’s physical and/or mental impairments resulting from anatomical, physiological or psychological abnormalities which are demonstrable by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory dialogistic techniques. In addition, please state your opinion as to the severity of each impairment, and the exhibits and objective finding’s which support your opinion
- Are there any conflicts in the medical evidence of record which affected your opinion and, if so, please state how you resolved them?
- Have we furnished you with copies of the pertinent section of the Listing of Impairments?
- In your opinion, do any of the claimant’s impairments, when taken individually, meet the requirement of any of the listed impairments? Please fully explain this answer and cite the appropriate sections in the Listing.
- In your opinion, do any of the claimant’s impairments present medical findings which are least equal in security and duration to a listed impairment?
- In your opinion, if the impairment(s) is a listed impairment or the medical equivalent thereof, on what date did the impairment(s) attain that level of severity?
- Is there any evidence that the claimant has not properly complied with prescribed treatment?
- Has any treatment been prescribed which may improve the claimant’s condition?
- List the specific functional (nonexertional) limitations, such as environmental restrictions (sensitivity to fumes, etc.), or visual limitations, such as inability to read small print or work with small objects, imposed by these impairments.
- Please describe the claimant’s visual acuity in terms of its effect on the claimant ability to work safely
- Do you have any additional comments or information which may assist us in reaching a decision? If so, please state.
If you or a loved one has a social security hearing, it is important to have a knowledgeable social security claim attorney present to fight for your rights. If you have been denied social security, please contact the social security disability attorney Fred J. Fleming today!