Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Social Security Disability, SSI Medical Exams For Physical Problems

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.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    The SSDRC Disability Blog

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Getting disability in North Carolina

    Related pages:

    How far back will SSI disability pay?
    Automatic Disability Conditions for Social Security and SSI
    Should I have a lawyer working on my disability case?
    Social Security Disability Claims and Medical Exams
    What is the Purpose of the Social Security Disability SSI Medical Exam, or CE?
    Social Security Medical Exam - the purpose of the Consultative Examination
    Social Security Consultative Medical Exams and How they affect Disability Claims
    The Social Security Disability Doctor Appointment is Called a CE
    If Social Security Disability sends you to an Exam, will it be done by your doctor?
    Social Security Disability, SSI Medical Exams For Physical Problems
    Social Security Administration Physical Consultative Exam (CE)
    Social Security Disability, SSI, and Mental Testing
    Do the Results of the Social Security Psychological Exam have any Bearing on Being Approved?
    Will an SSI or Social Security Exam help with the Decision?
    Getting a Disability Lawyer in Alabama
    How long can it take to get disability in Colorado?

    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 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