Patient at a Chiropractor AppointmentNo. A chiropractor may be an essential part of your medical team if you suffer back pain, neck pain, or other injuries. However, a chiropractor is not considered an acceptable medical source for purposes of Social Security disability eligibility.

Will Information From Your Chiropractor Be Considered for Social Security Disability Eligibility?

Since the Social Security Administration does not consider chiropractors acceptable medical sources, the disability examiner assigned to your case is unlikely to request your chiropractic records or to consider any chiropractic records you provide.

However, if your chiropractor ordered any diagnostic tests, such as x-rays, the disability examiner may consider those test results. Since the chiropractor’s records won’t be part of your Social Security disability file, you will need to provide the results of the diagnostic tests for consideration.

Who Is an Acceptable Medical Source?

Federal regulations maintain a clear list of who is considered an acceptable medical source. As of January 2021, acceptable medical sources for adult Social Security disability applicants include:

  • Doctors, including licensed medical doctors and osteopathic doctors
  • Licensed or certified psychologists
  • Licensed optometrists (for visual disorders only)
  • Licensed podiatrists (for foot and ankle impairments only)
  • Qualified speech and language pathologists (for speech and language impairments only)
  • Licensed audiologists (for hearing loss, auditory processing disorders, and balance disorders only)
  • Licensed physician assistants (PAs)
  • Licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), including certified nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and clinic nursing specialists

The disability examiner may consider objective medical evidence (such as diagnostic test results), medical opinions, and other medical evidence from acceptable medical sources when determining your Social Security disability eligibility.

You Can See a Chiropractor and Get Social Security Disability Benefits

You should not stop seeing a chiropractor just because the Social Security Administration doesn’t consider a chiropractor an acceptable medical source. If a chiropractor provides you with pain relief or prevents a disability from worsening, you may continue care.

However, you should also make sure that you are under the treatment of at least one person who is considered an acceptable medical source. That acceptable medical source may be your primary care doctor, orthopedist, or another type of medical professional described above. These acceptable medical sources may provide you with additional information about your condition that helps you and provides essential information to the Social Security Administration so that your eligibility determination is made fairly. Additionally, you should let your doctor (or another acceptable medical source) know that you are seeing a chiropractor so that any relevant medical information can be documented in your record and shared with the Social Security Administration.

How to Submit a Strong Social Security Disability Application

Medical evidence is a critical component of your Social Security disability application. In addition to any chiropractor appointments you keep, it is essential to:

  • Attend regular appointments with your doctor or other acceptable medical sources
  • Get all of the tests recommended by your doctor or other acceptable medical sources
  • Comply with all treatment recommendations
  • Be honest with all of your medical providers and ask that all of your concerns and symptoms be documented in your medical record
  • Seek second opinions from other acceptable medical sources if you are uncertain about your diagnosis or treatment plan

Additionally, if you are unable to work and your condition is expected to last for 12 months or longer, then now is also the right time to contact an experienced Social Security disability lawyer.

You have paid into the Social Security system, and you deserve to get disability benefits if you qualify. Our experienced lawyers can evaluate your claim, advise you of your chances of success, prepare your initial Social Security disability application, and represent you in any necessary appeals. Over the last 25+ years, we have helped thousands of people in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island get the Social Security disability benefits they’ve earned. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss how we may help you.

Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 888.904.6847 to schedule your free consultation.


John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer