Will Social Security Grant Disability If I Have Not Been To the Doctor?

file for disability have no medical records, have only very old medical records, or have no current medical records. Since Social Security is obligated to have some amount of current medical evidence when making a disability determination, they pay independent physicians to perform consultative examinations in order to provide a current "snapshot" of a claimant's condition.

Consultative examinations can be performed for all types of mental and medical conditions. Consultative examinations that involve learning disorders, mental retardation, or memory problems may include testing to evaluate the severity of the impairment as well as provide an opinion as to the disability applicant's ability to perform work activity.

If the impairment is a physical impairment, the examination may include things that address an individual's mobility, breathing, heart rate, blood pressure etc. Physical examinations will involve a cursory physical examination and possibly some testing. Social Security does pay for non-invasive testing such as blood work, x-rays, or even breathing or pulmonary function testing. They do not pay for more expensive imaging tests such as MRIs or CT scans, and they absolutely do not perform any type of invasive testing.

Consultative examinations, a.k.a. social security medical exams, are not meant to provide any kind of medical treatment for the disability applicant and, in fact, are just to provide a current medical status for a Social Security Disability determination.

Regrettably, most consultative examinations do not result in an approval for disability benefits unless an individual has an impairment that is clearly disabling. Therefore, if at all possible, an individual who is considering filing for Social Security Disability or SSI should try to get medical treatment.

Even medical treatment from a hospital ER, or free clinic, or health department, is better than no medical treatment information. After all, if an individual has no treatment, then their entire disability case depends on a short perfunctory consultative examination, performed by a doctor who has been hired by the social security administration and who has never treated or even seen the claimant before.

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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