Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

Will Social Security send you to one of their doctors?

Social Security sends many individuals who apply for disability to what are called consultative medical exams, or CEs for short. These exams can be for a mental impairment or a physical impairment. And they are performed by doctors who do not actually work for the Social Security Administration. Instead, they are private practice physicians who contract to provide examination services for disability claimants.

In other words, when you to go to a Social Security medical exam, you are going to a private doctor's office. The doctor performing the exam will, after the examination, write up a report and then submit the report to SSA (usually to a disability examiner, but sometimes a judge if the case is at the hearing level).

Will the exam have much effect on the outcome of the case? Will the exam be long or short, or be thorough or superficial? These pages address these questions.

1. Why does Social Security send people to medical exams?
2. What should you say if you go to a Social Security Exam?
3. What is the Purpose of the Social Security Disability SSI Medical Exam, or CE?
4. Social Security Psychological Exam results
5. Will an SSI or Social Security Exam help with the Decision?

Are Social Security Medical Exams done by Doctors who are Specialists?

This is where more people would probably have a problem with the system, when claimants are sent to consultative exams performed by private physicians who practice in a medical area that is unrelated to the claimant's impairment(s). But the truth is, most physical consultative examinations would, realistically, only require the doctor to have an M.D.

In an ideal world, would it be optimal to send every claimant who lists angina or tachycardia to a cardiologist? Or every claimant who lists fibromyalgia to a pain specialist? Perhaps. But you probably wouldn't get a much better return in terms of the type of information that these exams record. A CE, or consultative exam, is basically a physical and the information that is obtained is fairly general.

Any competent doctor should be able to do one, regardless of their area of specialty, right? Also, the examining physician is not tasked with trying to sleuth anything out. He or she is simply providing a recent snapshot of a claimant's condition. Which goes to the heart of why consultative exams are scheduled in the first place. Usually, it is simply because the claimant's medical records do not contain recent documentation (meaning within the last 90 days). Recent documentation is required for social security to determine that the claimant is currently disabled and, thus, award, benefits.

Even if the social security administration came to the conclusion that it would be better to send all claimants to doctors practicing in specialized areas for consultative exams, how would this be afforded? There's no doubt that you'd have to pay more to get specialists to perform such exams. As it is now, DDS agencies are constantly recruiting new physicians to perform consultative exams because other physicians are continually dropping out of the program.

  • 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:

    Social Security Disability, SSI, and Mental Testing
    When Social Security Disability Sends You To A Doctor, What Kind Is It?
    Will Your Claim for Disability be Handled Differently if it is Based on a Physical or Mental Problem?
    When should I have doctor complete a statement for my disability case?
    Will you need a disability attorney if you have a mental condition?
    Disability back pay benefit for the five month waiting period
    The Social Security Disability Doctor Appointment is Called a CE
    When Social Security sends you to a Psychiatrist
    Disability requirements and how to file in Virginia
    How long will the disability exam last?
    Medical conditions for which you can file and apply for disability

    These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

    What Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
    Disability for a mental condition
    Tips for Filing for disability
    Financial Help Filing For Disability
    Checklist for filing for disability, SSI or SSD
    Qualifying for disability benefits, how to qualify for SSD or SSI
    Filing a disability application: the steps
    Disability award notice, how long it takes to get benefits
    How to Apply for Disability - Where do I go?
    What makes you eligible to get disability?
    How to check my disability claim status?
    Can a disability attorney speed up a disability case?
    SSI disability Award Letter
    How long to get approved for disability?
    How to apply for disability benefits
    How long does disability back pay take?
    What are qualifications for getting disability?
    What medical conditions can you file disability for?
    Disability Lawyer help questions
    Social Security Attorneys, Disability Representatives