I frequently remind readers of the importance of medical source statements for Social Security disability claims.
I try to get medical source statements as early as possible in the claim process. Get them while you can, because you may not be able to get an opinion from that treating source later.
I recently had a conversation with a client that demonstrates the wisdom of that practice. We obtained medical source statements from her psychiatric nurse practitioner (Ruling 06-03p requires adjudicators to weigh "other source" opinions to show the severity of an individual's impairment and how it affects the individual's ability to function) and from her primary care physician early in the case.
A few months ago, the client moved to a different part of the state, and is still in the process of reestablishing medical care. The hearing is approaching. If my office had waited until the hearing was scheduled to seek treating source opinions, we would be out of luck. But since we sought them early, all is well.
Stuff happens. Clients may move. Clients may lose their insurance, and not be able to afford to go to the doctor. Sometimes the relationship with the treating doctor goes downhill. Treating doctors can move away, change practices, or retire.
Get medical source statements as early as possible.