Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Social Security Disability and SSI Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability Back Pay Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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The Social Security Disability Doctor Appointment is Called a CE
Some people who apply for Social Security Disability are required to attend a Social Security medical examination called a consultative exam (CE).
The CE is typically needed in cases in which the claimant has no recent medical records that document his current state of health. Social Security defines ďrecentĒ as within the past 60 days, so those who have not have not seen a physician for their impairment within this time frame will probably be sent for a CE. However, itís important to note that a disability examiner can send a claimant for a CE at any time the examiner feels he needs more information, or more clarification regarding the limitations imposed by an impairment.
Unfortunately, a CE is very unlikely to provide the examiner with any information other than the claimantís supposed state of health at the exact moment of the exam. Social Security medical exams are carried out by private physicians with their own practice, the thought being that such individuals will be unbiased in their opinions. And yet, this is not always the case, as many people who have attended CEs have reported that the physician was both rude and dismissive. If you attend a CE and find that you are treated badly, you should report this to the disability examiner who sent you, though the likelihood of such a complaint changing the outcome of your case is slim at best.
CEs are generally performed for one purpose and one purpose only: to allow a disability examiner to close a case. Disability examiners cannot close cases without recent medical evidence. These exams are a mere formality in that they allow the examiner to get the medical evidence needed, even though it is highly improbable that the findings of a CE will alter the examinerís disability decision in any way. Indeed, in most cases the examiner has already formed an opinion well in advance of the CE, and is just looking to dot all the iís and tís before composing his synopsis and getting the file off his desk.
CEs are usually pretty briefó-10 to 15 minutes is the average. They are sometimes not even performed by a doctor who specializes in treating the claimantís particular impairment. For instance, a urologist or gynecologist could be the one evaluating a case of spinal stenosis, diabetic neuropathy, seizure disorder, etc.
Sound ridiculous? Well, ideally it wonít matter much, at least not to SSD/SSI applicants with a history of documented medical treatment for their impairment(s). If itís true that a CE wonít help your case much, itís also fair to say that it wonít hurt it much, and certainly wonít overrule all of the other medical evidence in your file.
If you are sent for a CE, it is well worth your time to attend; in fact, failure to attend a CE or multiple CEs could be a basis for dismissal of your claim, regardless of your level of impairment.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria