Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Being denied for disability in Indiana and the Medical Evidence

The basic reason any Social security disability or SSI claim in Indiana is denied is that there is a lack of medical evidence in the claimant's file that supports an approval.

To get a disability claim approved, a disability examiner (examiners make decisions on initial claims and reconsideration appeals) or a federal administrative law judge must have documentation available to them that allows them to do the following:

1. Determine if the claimant's impairment (or various impairments, as is usually the case) is severe or non-severe.

2. Determine what the claimant's functional limitations are. Functional limitations can be either mental or physical. Many claims do, in fact, involve both mental and physical impairments and this requires that the decision-maker on the claim consult with both a medical consultant as well as a psychological consultant (both consultants are part of the disability examiner's case processing unit).

There are instances, of course, in which a claimant has no history of medical treatment, or very little history of recent treatment. In those cases, the claimant will be scheduled to go to a consultative examination. This examination can be a physical examination, an IQ test, a mental status exam, or a full fledged psychiatric examination.

Consultative exams, often referred to as Social security medical examinations, are performed by independent physicians and psychologists, not by individuals who are actually employed by the social security administration.

Are disability claims in Indiana ever won based on the results of a consultative exam? It does happen occasionally. And it tends to happen more often when the exam is mental (such as for memory scale testing, or intelligence testing) versus a physical consultative exam (usually, physical exams last little more than ten minutes and the report provided by the examining physician provides very little useful information for either a disability examiner or a judge).

However, in the great majority of cases, consultative exams do not provide the basis for an approval of a social security claim.

Because cases that lack substantial evidence stand a poor chance of being approved by social security, individuals who are considering filing for disability benefits should do the following:

1. If they are not being seen by a doctor, they should begin to get regular treatment. This is the only way that medical records will be generated for the social security administation to obtain and review.

2. If they have a condition that has not been formally diagnosed (such as depression, or anxiety disorder), they should be seen by the appropriate source of treatment (for example, fibromyalgia should be diagnosed by a rheumatologist or a pain treatment specialist, whereas depression should be diagnosed by a mental health professional, ideally a psychiatrist).

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

Related pages:

How to answer questions at a Social Security Disability CE examination
SSDI Request for Reconsideration
Which medical conditions will social security recognize as a disability?
Using a lawyer to potentially speed up the disability appeal process
Social Security Award Letter and being due a substantial back pay amount
How much does disability pay?
How long will you get disability after an award notice?
If Social Security sends you to a psychiatrist
Disability claim at reconsideration appeal level

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 answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria