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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

What should you say if you go to a Social Security Exam?



 
If you have filed for Social Security Disability (SSD), you could very easily be asked to attend a Social Security medical examination, also called a consultative exam (CE). Usually, these are scheduled to get some recent evidence into the file which will allow the disability examiner to make a decision. If you get scheduled for a "CE", you must go. Not going, or asking for repeated rescheduled appointments, can get your case denied for "failure to cooperate".

Many disability applicants are apprehensive about these exams, afraid they will say or do something that will prompt the examining physician to write an unfavorable report. This fear is ungrounded, but easy enough to understand since many SSD applicants who have attended CEs report that the doctor performing the disability exam was nothing short of rude.

Bad Doctors

Unfortunately, some physicians who perform CEs are a bit skeptical of, even biased against, those seeking disability. Others are performing this service for Social Security simply because the exams take very little of their time (10 to 15 minutes on average), and provide them with a steady source of income.



If you attend a CE and are faced with an unsympathetic attitude by the physician performing your exam, try not to take it personally. Many SSD applicants, particularly those who are older and perhaps embarrassed to be applying for disability, actually tend to downplay their symptoms or physical limitations at the CE. This is not in their best interest.

Remember that another name for SSD is SSDI —- Social Security Disability Insurance. If you have worked and paid into the system through FICA taxes deducted from your paychecks over the years, you are entitled to disability if you become too impaired to work. That is the whole point of the program—-to ensure that everybody has some kind of safety net in the event they become disabled.

Quick advice for going to your exam

So, if you attend a CE the best thing you can do is go to the appointment on time (remember: missing scheduled exams could result in a denial of your claim). Then, simply tell the truth. Don’t try to tell your life story in there-—just answer the physician’s questions honestly. Also, don’t allow a bad attitude on the part of your physician to bully you into being overly compliant to the point that you pretend your medical condition and limitations aren’t that bad.

If you have pain or difficulty performing any physical or mental tasks the physician asks you to do, do not be afraid to show it. Just remember that in general physicians who perform CEs are more interested in finishing quickly and writing up a report than getting any in-depth idea of your medical condition.

In short, don’t worry about what to say at your Social Security exam. Answer questions honestly regarding any limitations you have as a result of your impairment, and let the physician write up his report. CEs are usually just a formality anyway, and have very little impact on the outcome of your case. They are not likely to trump the opinion of your treating physician or the evidence contained within your medical records.








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Related pages:

Tips for Getting Disability Approved When you File with Social Security
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What should you say if you go to a Social Security Exam?
Always list all your various symptoms on your Disability Application
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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.