Acceptable Medical Sources in 2023

When filing an application with the Social Security Administration (SSA) for disability, you need to prove to the SSA that your disability meets their requirements in their listing of impairments or prove that you can’t perform substantial gainful employment based on your age, education, and skills, which is $1,260 a month in 2020.

Medical and Functional Reports

You need to include as many medical reports as you possibly can. This includes your medical history, examination reports, clinical findings, lab results, diagnoses, treatment summaries with outcome, summaries of hospitalizations, test results, and any other medical evidence.

The SSA also requests a medical source statement explaining what you can still do even with your impairments. This needs to come from a licensed medical professional. It’s best to get statements from the doctor that is treating you, but the SSA will consider them from uninvolved medical professionals that have examined your case records.

The report should include the doctor’s opinion of your ability to do basic actions such as walking, standing, sitting, lifting, carrying objects, speaking, and more. For mental disabilities, it should also talk about your ability to understand, communicate with, and follow instructions from supervisors, coworkers, and customers.

Medical Personnel

In order to show that you have a disability, you need medical evidence to submit to the SSA with your application. There are number of accepted sources. All diagnoses, tests, and statements must be provided by licensed medical professionals. For visual disorders, you need to talk to an optometrist. For problems with the foot or ankle, you need to consult a podiatrist. For any other medical issues, you need to talk to a physician.

If the evidence is for a diagnosis of intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, or functional disabilities, it can come from a school psychologist as long as he or she is licensed or certified. For other evidence, a state licensed psychologist is necessary. Pathologists must be licensed by the state licensing agency or state education agency where he or she practices. A pathologist with a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is also acceptable.

In some cases, the SSA needs addition evidence from you. They might also contact other medical and educational professionals, such as therapists, audiologists, physician’s assistants, and nurse-practitioners, teachers, counselors, daycare workers, and welfare personnel. Statements from spouses, parents, friends, relatives, coworkers, and other might be beneficial or necessary to your case as well.


Many claims are initially denied because of lack of correct evidence. Make sure to complete the entire application with all of necessary and acceptable evidence. You need to prove that your disability is expected to last at least a year and is severe enough that you aren’t able to work. If you have the necessary medical sources to file a claim, consider contacting an attorney to have the best chance of winning your claim.

Additional Resources