Social Security Disability Resource Center
Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions
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.
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
About the Author of SSDRC, Tim Moore
The SSDRC Disability Blog
For Individuals living in North Carolina
Disability in North Carolina
North Carolina Disability Lawyer
Getting disability in North Carolina
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