SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Social Security Disability and SSI Questions and Answers
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?
More questions about SSD and SSI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips ó how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
The Social Security Disability Doctor Appointment is Called a CE
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
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: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page