The Social Security Administration uses medical evidence to determine what your impairments are as well as how they impact your ability to work. In order for Social Security to consider a particular impairment severe, it must be diagnosed by an acceptable medical source.
SSA Medical Sources Before March 2017
The definition of who qualifies as an acceptable medical source depends on when you filed your application. If you filed for benefits prior to March 27, 2017, then all diagnoses of medical impairments must come from providers who are M.D.s or Ph.Ds.
SSA Medical Sources After March 2017
The Social Security Administration has broadened that definition to include more providers if you filed your application after March 27, 2017. Acceptable medical sources now include P.A.s, A.P.R.N.s, A.R.N.P.s, audiologists, and Clinical Nurse Specialists (C.N.M.s). The broadening of the definition of who qualifies as an acceptable medical source makes it easier for claimants to establish impairments in their claim.
For more information about the disability process, click here.