After you file for SSD, the Disability Examiner may contact you for additional information

Once you file your disability claim, your claim is sent to a federally funded state agency responsible for making medical disability determinations for Social Security. There, your disability claim is assigned to a disability examiner.

Disability examiners are responsible for gathering medical records from the medical sources that you provided during your disability claim interview. As the medical information comes in, the examiner must determine if your medical sources have provided enough information to allow them to make their medical disability determination.

If the examiner determines that there is not enough information for them to make a determination, they will contact you to schedule an examination (or examinations) to address your alleged disabling conditions. An examination of this type is known as a CE, or consultative exam.

Doctors who are paid by Social Security to provide medical information for disability decisions perform consultative examinations. Consultative examinations are generally not the best evaluation of the true limitations of your medical or mental conditions. For the most part, they are performed to provide the bare minimum amount of medical information needed for a disability decision. Unfortunately, from my experience as a disability examiner, consultative examinations resulted in far more disability denials than approvals.

Your disability examiner will most also likely contact you so you may provide them with information about how your disabling condition affects the performance of routine activities such as household chores, grocery shopping, socializing, grooming, etc. Generally, they will also contact the third party person that you listed on your disability application as well to get another perspective as to how your disabling condition affects your daily activities or even your ability to work.

When the disability examiner has enough information to make their disability decision, you will be sent a decisional notice through the postal service. If you are denied for disability and you still feel that you are disabled, you have sixty-five days to file an appeal of your disability denial with Social Security. This means your appeal has to be in your local (social security) office by the sixty-fifth day to be considered timely. If you are late in filing your appeal, there is a chance that you may have to begin the disability process again.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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