What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Social Security Disability, SSI Claim Decisions For Physical Problems and the Medical Exams that are used
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
SSA disability claims for physical problems can be difficult to win without recent medical records. When Social Security disability examiners make their medical determinations, they prefer to have a twelve month medical history that includes some kind of medical treatment records within ninety days of the application date. Disability examiners are not required to have a twelve-month medical history of an individual’s alleged medical or mental impairment but they are required to have current medical information about all alleged disabling impairments.
Many disability applicants have been out of work for quite some time; consequently they have lost their health insurance and they have no money. Therefore they may not have any recent medical treatment with which the disability examiner can make a decision.
Social Security disability examiners are obligated to have a current status of an individual’s physical problems prior to making their medical determination, so the social security administration has to provide the disability applicant with a medical examination (a CE, or consultative examination) to address their alleged disabling physical problems.
Who performs a Social Security Disability or SSI Medical Exam?
Contrary to what many people believe, “Social Security” doctors do not perform consultative examinations. The doctors that perform consultative examinations are usually doctors who practice in a locality who are willing to perform consultative examinations for Social Security for an agreed upon fee per examination. Unfortunately, these examinations are often performed by physicians whose medical specialty may have nothing whatsoever to do with the disability applicant’s physical problem or problems.
Although Social Security guidelines state that consultative examinations should be performed by a physician whose specialty addresses the disability applicant’s physical or mental condition, it is rare that an individual sees a physician whose specialty actually addresses their physical impairment.
This is due to the that there are so few physicians in many areas and, of those doctors, many are not willing to perform consultative examinations. So that leaves disability applicants in the position of going to any doctor who simply agrees to perform consultative examination in their area, no matter what their medical specialty is.
By their very nature, consultative examinations usually do not help a disability applicant win disability benefits. Consultative examinations are short basic evaluations performed just to meet the requirement of SSA having current medical information. Many times these examinations are not even ten minutes long and are not very thorough.
Consultative examinations are not meant to provide any kind of treatment or an in-depth look at an individual’s physical problems. This is why it is so difficult for an individual to win their disability benefits without recent treatment notes from a treating medical source who is familiar with their physical problems. It is hard to determine the severity of an individual’s physical problems and their residual functional capacity (what they are able to do despite the limitations of their physical or mental problem) in a ten-minute examination with a physician who knows nothing about them.
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Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials