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Most disability examinations do not take long, but mental testing takes longer
I've never been to a Social Security Disability medical exam. But as a disability examiner working on SSD and SSI claims, I may have sent thousands of individuals to these types of exams. Most were for physical assessments, some were for xrays, some were for pulmonary function tests, and many were for mental testing (either a full psychiatric exam, a mental status exam, or a psychological IQ exam).
Mental exams, by necessity, take a certain amount of time and, generally, there's no real way around this. Basically, the examining psychologist or psychiatrist can only ask questions but so fast and the disability applicant who is being questioned can only answer questions but so fast.
However, a physical CE (C.E. stands for consultative examination) is different. And very often a physical examination will last only as long as ten minutes. I've probably gotten hundreds of calls from claimants who had been to one of these exams who were amazed that it had been so brief. And, usually, the question was: "How could the doctor learn anything about me in just ten minutes?". And, of course, the answer is that they can't, or at least it is very unlikely.
The purpose of going to one of these physical exams is so that the disability examiner who is working on the case can state that he or she has recent medical evidence, which is a requirement for closing a case. In most instances, this sort of exam and the report that follows from it serves no other purpose.
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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.