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How to answer questions at a Social Security Disability CE examination

Someone asked this question about disability exams:

"I have a CE exam for my SS disability claim which I am filing for bipolar. I am worried that I might say the wrong thing, or not say the right thing, or not be taken seriously."

This begs the question. Can you say the wrong thing during a CE exam?

My answer to that--and, mind you, this is just my own answer and opinion based on my subjective experience of having been a disability examiner--is no. You really can't say the wrong thing at a physical CE (consultative exam, otherwise known as a social security disability medical exam). And to be honest, the examining physician isn't really that interested in talking to you, versus examining you so he can submit his or her CE report.

On the other hand, if you feel discomfort or pain, or have difficulty with range of motion in a joint, or have trouble getting onto the examining table, you shouldn't minimize this either.

Let me elaborate. The last thing you want to do at a physical consultative exam is exaggerate your condition by going on and on about it.

Why? Some of the doctors who perform CEs for social security have a negative bias against disability claimants (which brings up the question, why the heck are they doing these exams anyway? Answer: easy money). And appearing as if you're trying to embellish the effects of your condition may only activate the examining physician's built-in bias.

However, by the same token, you shouldn't try to hide your pain or discomfort or appear as if you don't have limitations. You may ask yourself, what individual who is filing for disability would try to minimize their problems when they are being seen at a medical exam? It happens all the time. And it seems to happen on the part of older individuals who, perhaps, are a little embarrassed to be applying for disability.

However, the act of applying for disability is not something anyone should feel embarrassed about. The truth is, social security disability benefits are not a handout. They are benefits provided by insurance, insurance that you pay for through your FICA deductions.

So, back to the question, the answer is:

1. Don't embellish your condition when speaking to a doctor at an exam.

2. Don't hide your pain or discomfort or limitations either.

3. Just answer the doctor's questions honestly and fully.

Now, in this post we've discussed physical social security exams. Question: can you say the wrong thing at a social security disability mental exam? And the answer to that question is in a near-future post.

  • 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:

    What if you Receive a Disability Denial from Social Security?
    What does a Disability Denial Letter from Social Security say?
    Does Social Security deny every disability case the first time?
    What is the process for approving a Social Security disability claim?
    Denied for Disability, Should you File a new Application?
    What is the process for approving a Social Security disability claim?
    When does a case go to the Social Security Disability review board?
    How long will an SSI or SSDI disability claim take?
    Using a lawyer to potentially speed up the disability appeal process
    Speeding up the Social Security Disability or SSI Claim Process
    Social Security Award Letter and being due a substantial back pay amount
    Reasons to get a representative who specializes in disability claims only
    When you apply for social security disability should you send copies of your xrays?
    Getting approved for disability based on being blind
    How to answer questions at a Social Security Disability CE examination
    What disability claimants get angry about - Part II
    How does Social Security consider pain?

    These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

    How to file for disability, filing tips
    What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
    Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
    What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
    Will you get disability back pay?
    Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
    Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
    Social Security Disability SSI status
    Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
    Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
    Qualifications for Disability Benefits
    Important points about filing for disability
    How long does it take to get disability after applying?
    Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
    Who is eligible for SSI disability?
    How to get disability in Florida