(a) General. In general, you have to prove to us that you are blind or disabled. Therefore, you must bring to our attention everything that shows that you are blind or disabled. This means that you must furnish medical and other evidence that we can use to reach conclusions about your medical impairment(s) and, if material to the determination of whether you are disabled, its effect on your ability to work on a sustained basis. We will consider only impairment(s) you say you have or about which we receive evidence.
(1) Objective medical evidence, that is, medical signs and laboratory findings as defined in § 404.1528 (b) and (c);
(3) Statements you or others make about your impairment(s), your restrictions, your daily activities, your efforts to work, or any other relevant statements you make to medical sources during the course of examination or treatment, or to us during interviews, on applications, in letters, and in testimony in our administrative proceedings;
(4) Information from other sources, as described in § 404.1513(d);
(6) At the initial level of the administrative review process, when a State agency disability examiner makes the initial determination alone (see § 404.1615(c)(3)), opinions provided by State agency medical and psychological consultants based on their review of the evidence in your case record; See § 404.1527(e)(2)-(3).
(7) At the reconsideration level of the administrative review process, when a State agency disability examiner makes the determination alone (see § 404.1615(c)(3)), findings, other than the ultimate determination about whether you are disabled, made by State agency medical or psychological consultants and other program physicians, psychologists, or other medical specialists at the initial level of the administrative review process, and other opinions they provide based on their review of the evidence in your case record at the initial and reconsideration levels (see § 404.1527(f)(1)(iii)); and
(8) At the administrative law judge and Appeals Council levels, findings, other than the ultimate determination about whether you are disabled, made by State agency medical or psychological consultants and other program physicians or psychologists, or other medical specialists, and opinions expressed by medical experts or psychological experts that we consult based on their review of the evidence in your case record. See §§ 404.1527(f)(2)-(3).
(c) Your responsibility. You must provide medical evidence showing that you have an impairment(s) and how severe it is during the time you say that you are disabled. You must provide evidence, without redaction, showing how your impairment(s) affects your functioning during the time you say that you are disabled, and any other information that we need to decide your claim. If we ask you, you must provide evidence about:
(d) Our responsibility. Before we make a determination that you are not disabled, we will develop your complete medical history for at least the 12 months preceding the month in which you file your application unless there is a reason to believe that development of an earlier period is necessary or unless you say that your disability began less than 12 months before you filed your application. We will make every reasonable effort to help you get medical reports from your own medical sources when you give us permission to request the reports.
(1) “Every reasonable effort” means that we will make an initial request for evidence from your medical source and, at any time between 10 and 20 calendar days after the initial request, if the evidence has not been received, we will make one followup request to obtain the medical evidence necessary to make a determination. The medical source will have a minimum of 10 calendar days from the date of our followup request to reply, unless our experience with that source indicates that a longer period is advisable in a particular case.
(2) By “complete medical history,” we mean the records of your medical source(s) covering at least the 12 months preceding the month in which you file your application. If you say that your disability began less than 12 months before you filed your application, we will develop your complete medical history beginning with the month you say your disability began unless we have reason to believe your disability began earlier. If applicable, we will develop your complete medical history for the 12-month period prior to (1) the month you were last insured for disability insurance benefits (see § 404.130), (2) the month ending the 7-year period you may have to establish your disability and you are applying for widow's or widower's benefits based on disability (see § 404.335(c)(1)), or (3) the month you attain age 22 and you are applying for child's benefits based on disability (see § 404.350(e)).
(e) Obtaining a consultative examination. We may ask you to attend one or more consultative examinations at our expense. See §§ 404.1517 through 404.1519t for the rules governing the consultative examination process. Generally, we will not request a consultative examination until we have made every reasonable effort to obtain evidence from your own medical sources. However, in some instances, such as when a source is known to be unable to provide certain tests or procedures or is known to be nonproductive or uncooperative, we may order a consultative examination while awaiting receipt of medical source evidence. We will not evaluate this evidence until we have made every reasonable effort to obtain evidence from your medical sources.
(f) Other work. In order to determine under § 404.1520(g) that you are able to make an adjustment to other work, we must provide evidence about the existence of work in the national economy that you can do (see §§ 404.1560 through 404.1569a), given your residual functional capacity (which we have already assessed, as described in § 404.1520(e)), age, education, and work experience.
[56 FR 36954, Aug. 1, 1991, as amended at 65 FR 11875, Mar. 7, 2000; 65 FR 34957, June 1, 2000; 68 FR 51161, Aug. 26, 2003; 71 FR 16444, Mar. 31, 2006; 75 FR 62680, Oct. 13, 2010; 76 FR 24806, May 3, 2011; 77 FR 10655, Feb. 23, 2012]