The Treating Physician Rule

The Treating Physician Rule provides that substantial weight should be given to the impairment opinions given by a treating doctor in a Residual Functional Capacity Form (RFC).

Social Security’s regulations establish a framework for apportioning weight to medical opinions. 20 C.F.R. § 404.1527(d). The Administrative Law Judge considering your claim must consider all medical opinions. Treating sources are given controlling weight if they are “well-supported by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques and [are] not inconsistent with the other substantial evidence in your case record . . .” Id. at 404.1527(d)(2). Otherwise, treating sources are evaluated upon consideration of the “[l]ength of the treatment relationship and the frequency of examination . . . [the] [n]ature and extent of the treatment relationship . . . [s]upportability . . . [c]onsistency . . . [s]pecialization . . . [and o]ther factors . . . which tend to support or contradict the opinion.” Id. at 404.1527(d)(2)-(6). As a general rule, examining sources are entitled to more weight than non-examining sources and treating sources are entitled to more weight than non-treating sources. Id. at 404.1527(d)(1)-(2).

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