One area of law both for Social Security and Veterans Compensation Benefits that works in claimants favor is the duty of the agencies to help claimants get evidence they need to prove their case. Social Security lawyers know that this is critical to any disability claim.  Utah Social Security Disability applicants should know that the state agency making disability decisions is Disability Determination Services, based in Salt Lake City. For VA compensation, the VA must perform compensation and pension exams under its Duty to Assist also known as the Veterans Claims Assistance Act. There are also other ways that VA is obligated to help Veterans. The Social Security Administration must assist the claimant to gain proper medical evidence. 20 CFR 404.1512; and 20 C.F.R. 416.912. Social Security contracts with Disability Determination Services (DDS) in Salt Lake City, Utah to perform this function.
However, both in Utah and everywhere else its often or almost always critical to get medical evidence from ones own treating physician. Of course this can be particularly difficult if a Social Security claimant does not have a treating physician. Acceptable medical sources include MDs, Osteopaths OD, licensed psychologists Phds, licensed optometrists, “qualified” speech and language pathologists, and licensed podiatrists. Often, DDS may only make minimal efforts to ensure that proper medical evidence has been gathered and so claimants are usually sent to consultative examiners. Reports are most compelling if they are in the words of the person making the observations and a letter or report is usually better than a form. It is very important to have objective medical evidence such as x-rays, blood tests, CT scans, IQ tests, stress tests, etc. This is especially critical in physical impairment cases where its usually often easy to see the disability objectively compared to a mental impairment. Often it helps for the doctor to write out an explanation of the test results for Social Security.