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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

Can you Refuse to go to a Social Security Medical Examination?



 
Yes, you can refuse to go to a CE, or consultative examination, commonly known as a "social security medical examination". However, its typically not wise.

You have to consider why a disability examiner wants to schedule a claimant for such an exam in the first place.

A) Usually, its because a claimant has not been to a medical treatment source in the last ninety days.

B) Sometimes a CE is scheduled because a claimant has never been treated for a condition on the disability application. Depression is a good example of this. Many individuals list depression on a disability application without ever having received treatment for depression from a mental health treatment source, or even from their own general practitioner (often in the form of an RX for an anti-depressant).



C) In other instances, a claimant will be sent out for a simple xray if an imaging report is not available from the claimant's list of medical treatment sources.

Flatly refusing to go a consultative exam can potentially result in a case being denied for failure to cooperate. And for a claimant who simply has no recent medical record documentation, not going to a consultative exam can only lead down the path to a denial.

Some claimants are understandably nervous about going to consultative exams, possibly because they fear some level of bias on the part of a "social security doctor". However, the doctors who perform such exams DO NOT WORK FOR THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION. They are independent physicians who perform examinations on a contract basis. Having said that, though, it's true that, when the topic arises, a large percentage of claimants who have gone to consultative exams will report that the examining physician was brusque or seemed to exhibit behavior that indicated a biased stance.

Generally, if a claimant goes to a physical consultative exam for a Social Security Disability or SSI disability case, what they'll find is that ---

A) the exam will be fairly short
B) the doctor may be somewhat rude (a common complaint)
C) the doctor will ask them very little
D) and, topping it all off, the doctor will typically know little about their medical condition or history -- disability examiners will sometimes send the examining physician excerpts from the medical record to apprise them of the claimant's medical history, but there's no guarantee that the examining physician will read the information.

However, what a disability claimant will not be privvy to is the fact that, at the initial claim and reconsideration levels, consultative exams are usually scheduled so a disability adjudicator can simply obtain recent documentation for the file...so the case can be closed.

None of which changes the fact, of course, that if you are scheduled to go to an examination appointment for your disability claim, you really need to go.








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Disability for a mental condition
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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?
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SSI disability Award Letter
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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.