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

The Social Security Disability Doctor Appointment is Called a CE

Some people who apply for Social Security Disability are required to attend a Social Security medical examination called a consultative exam (CE).

The CE is typically needed in cases in which the claimant has no recent medical records that document his current state of health. Social Security defines “recent” as within the past 60 days, so those who have not have not seen a physician for their impairment within this time frame will probably be sent for a CE. However, it’s important to note that a disability examiner can send a claimant for a CE at any time the examiner feels he needs more information, or more clarification regarding the limitations imposed by an impairment.

Unfortunately, a CE is very unlikely to provide the examiner with any information other than the claimant’s supposed state of health at the exact moment of the exam. Social Security medical exams are carried out by private physicians with their own practice, the thought being that such individuals will be unbiased in their opinions.

And yet, this is not always the case, as many people who have attended CEs have reported that the physician was both rude and dismissive. If you attend a CE and find that you are treated badly, you should report this to the disability examiner who sent you, though the likelihood of such a complaint changing the outcome of your case is slim at best.

CEs are generally performed for one purpose and one purpose only: to allow a disability examiner to close a case. Disability examiners cannot close cases without recent medical evidence. These exams are a mere formality in that they allow the examiner to get the medical evidence needed, even though it is highly improbable that the findings of a CE will alter the examiner’s disability decision in any way. Indeed, in most cases the examiner has already formed an opinion well in advance of the CE, and is just looking to dot all the i’s and t’s before composing his synopsis and getting the file off his desk.

CEs are usually pretty brief—-10 to 15 minutes is the average. They are sometimes not even performed by a doctor who specializes in treating the claimant’s particular impairment. For instance, a urologist or gynecologist could be the one evaluating a case of spinal stenosis, diabetic neuropathy, seizure disorder or epilepsy, etc.

Sound ridiculous? Well, ideally it won’t matter much, at least not to SSD/SSI applicants with a history of documented medical treatment for their impairment(s). If it’s true that a CE won’t help your case much, it’s also fair to say that it won’t hurt it much, and certainly won’t overrule all of the other medical evidence in your file.

If you are sent for a CE, it is well worth your time to attend; in fact, failure to attend a CE or multiple CEs could be a basis for dismissal of your claim, regardless of your level of impairment.

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:

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 California
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in California?
How long does it take to get disability in California?

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

Applying for SSD or SSI disability
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.