In the event that a party in a support matter asserts an inability to work due to medical issues, the support rules now require that a physician verification form be completed. Pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure (Pa. R.C.P.) 1910.29 (b), regarding evidence in support matters, the physician verification form should be completed by the party's physician and submitted at the time of the support conference. If the party receives Social Security disability or workers' compensation benefits, proof of income from those sources can be submitted in lieu of the physician verification form. A sample of the actual form to be used is contained in Pa.R.C.P. 1910.29(b)(3).
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If the support matter does not settle at the conference and a hearing will be necessary, the physician verification form can be admitted into evidence if certain requirements are met. First, the party intending to use the physician verification form must serve a copy on the other side within 20 days from the conference date. The other party then has 10 days from receipt of the physician verification form to file an objection. If no objection is received, the form may be accepted into evidence without requiring the physician's testimony. If an objection is made, the physician would need to testify in court and the court would determine how the cost of the testimony will be divided among the parties.