Social Security Disability Resource Center

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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 ó- 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 programó-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. Donít try to tell your life story in there-ójust answer the physicianís questions honestly. Also, donít 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 arenít 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, donít 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.

  • 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

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    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

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    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

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    Tips for Getting Disability Approved When you File with Social Security
    Tips on how to file for disability
    Social Security Disability Tips ó how a claim gets worked on
    Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI
    What should you say if you go to a Social Security Exam?
    Always list all your various symptoms on your Disability Application
    List every medical condition, physical or mental, when you file for disability
    Never minimize your pain or other symptoms because this can be used against you
    Be ready for your disability application before the process even starts
    If you apply for disability in Alabama
    Will I qualify for disability Alabama
    A Tip for Making a Request for a Disability Hearing
    Social Security Disability Advice from the Wrong Sources
    Can the Social Security Office give you Bad Advice on a Disability Claim?
    Financial Help When You Are Filing For Disability

    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 to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
    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