Being denied for disability in Indiana and the Medical Evidence
The basic reason any 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).
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
Most popular topics on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability in North Carolina
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI
Advice to Win SSD and SSI Benefit Claims
Social Security Disability SSI Questions
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
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?
Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in North Carolina?
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
Should you get a disability lawyer before you get denied in California?
Social Security Disability Back Pay in California
Social Security Disability For Mental Illness in California