Will I be sent to my own doctor for a disability examination for SSD or SSI?

Will I be sent to my own doctor for a disability examination for SSD or SSI?

If you are currently receiving treatment from a doctor, you may not have to go to a disability examination. It will depend on how thorough your doctors notes are and if the there is objective medical evidence within your file to allow the disability examiner to make their medical determination. In general, Social Security will not send you for a consultative examination unless you have no medical treatment or you have no current medical treatment (treatment within the past ninety days).

If they require a consultative examination, disability examiners prefer to use your doctor to conduct the examination, if they are qualified, willing, and equipped with the additional examination and tests for the usual fee schedule. Social Security's rules allow the use of an independent source for the consultative examination or test if: your treating source prefers not to perform the examination, there are conflicts or inconsistencies in your medical file that cannot be clarified or resolved by using your treating source, or you prefer another doctor for good reasons, or prior experience with your treating source shows they may not be a productive source.

As a former disability examiner, I would say that very few disability applicants attend consultative examinations with their own doctors. Most disability claimants attend examinations with doctors who are paid by Social Security to perform very basic status type examinations. If you have a physical disability, the consultative doctor may not specialize in the medical field of your disabling condition.

For example, you have a severe back problem, but are sent to a doctor who specializes in internal medicine. Social Security may not have a physician who specializes in the field of your disabling condition in the area, so they use what they have to get information necessary for their medical disability determinations.

If you have a mental disability, your Social Security consultative examination will be conducted by a mental health professional. Most areas have plenty of mental health professionals and therefore Social Security can easily contract for their services.

Related pages:

1. Social Security Disability and speaking with your doctor.
2. What should you get from your doctor to file for disability benefits?
3. Who is the DDS Social Security doctor?
4. Why will you be sent to a social security doctor for your disability case?

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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