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

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.

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, 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

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.