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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.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Who is eligible for SSI, how do I apply?
Partial disability benefits
How to File for SSI
Decisions on disability applications, fully and partially favorable
How do you get Social Security Disability?
Steps for Filing a Social Security Disability Claim
Permanent disability benefits
How long does it take to get a disability approval letter?
How do you Apply for SSI?
Disability requirements and how to file in Pennsylvania
What Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | 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 | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

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