How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Why Will You be Sent to a Social Security Doctor for your disability case?

Sometimes in the course of evaluating a claim, a disability examiner (examiners work for the state disability determination services agencies in charge of deciding all initial applications and first appeals for Social Security) will schedule the claimant for a consultative exam (CE).

CEs are not performed by physicians who are employed by DDS; rather Social Security contracts with independent physicians, psychologists or psychiatrists to perform these exams as needed.

In general, those who have recently been seen by their physician (within the past 60 days) will not have to attend a CE, but this is not always the case. You could be sent for a CE even if you have seen your doctor recently, particularly if the disability examiner feels more information is needed before he can close a case.

For instance, a CE could be needed to obtain testing that is not in the claimant’s medical records, such as spirometry testing for asthma or COPD, X-rays for fractures or degenerative disc disease, or hearing tests if you are filing on the basis of hearing loss.

CEs can also be used to gather information about the claimant’s mental condition through IQ tests, memory exams, or a full psychiatric workup.

In some cases the disability examiner will schedule a CE if a medical condition is indicated in your medical records, but you have not mentioned it on your initial application.

For instance, if your family doctor has prescribed antidepressants, you could be sent for a mental CE to provide the examiner with a clear picture of your level of depression and the limitations this could impose on your ability to work.

The most common reason a disability examiner schedules a CE is so that the examiner can receive a written opinion from the consultative examiner about your current state of physical or mental health. Without recent (within the past 60 days) medical documentation, the examiner cannot close a case.

In fact, it is rare that a CE will have any great impact on the approval or denial of a claim. Medical records from a treating physician that establish a date of onset (when your symptoms began), specific limitations imposed by your impairment (activities you can or cannot do), and a prognosis (how your impairment is expected to progress over time) carry more weight in the examiner’s decision-making process than the opinion of a physician hired to perform a CE.

This is why it is so important for those whose impairments compromise their ability to work to immediately seek medical attention from a physician with whom they have enough rapport to establish a long-term doctor-patient relationship.

In the end, all disability decisions are based on information contained in medical records—-if you have not sought regular medical treatment for your impairment, it is unlikely that a consultative exam will supply a disability examiner with enough proof to approve your claim for disability.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

When Social Security Disability Sends You To A Doctor, What Kind Is It?
Who is The Doctor for a Social Security Disability Claim or SSI Case?
What should you get from your doctor to file for disability benefits?
Why Will You be Sent to a Social Security Doctor for your disability case?
Will Social Security Grant Disability If I Have Not Been To the Doctor?
If I apply for disability and my doctor says I am disabled, is there a waiting period to receive benefits?
SSA Medical Exam and your own Physician
How Important is the Treating Physician to a Social Security Disability or SSI case?
How to go back on disability after trying to work again
If you apply for disability in Texas
Disability requirements in Texas
Qualifying For Disability in Texas

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.