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
Doctors can be a Big Problem When Applying for Disability in California
Doctors are involved in the Social Security Disability claim system and SSI disability claim system (it's really all one system) in several ways.
There are doctors who are employed as medical consultants (at the various disability determination services agencies that make decisions for the social security administration) and work in conjunction with disability examiners. There are doctors who work in private practice and are not employees of the social security administration, but have contracted to conduct medical examinations for social security claimants. And, finally, there are doctors who are simply a claimant's own doctor.
All of these types of doctors have the potential to be problematic for disability claimants in California who are disabled and attempting to get their disability benefits approved while the threat of financial catastrophe looms over their heads.
The doctors who work with disability examiners tend to be fully complicit in achieving the social security administration's high rate of denials on claims. And, in truth, many of these doctors casually rate claimants as capable of performing levels of work for which they themselves are quite clueless.
My own personal opinion, developed from when I worked as a disability examiner myself, is that I would be very hesitant to let any doctor who works for social security even put a bandaid on me (some were very young and you had to really wonder why they weren't working in a practice, and some were so old that they slept all day long in their offices and signed anything that was put in front of them).
The doctors who work in private practice and do CE, or consultative exams, for social security (typically referred to as social security medical exams tend to be somewhat hostile to the claimants they examine and reveal this hostility very often through blatant rudeness. And, of course, in the case of physical examinations, it is usually the case that the examination reports they provide are seldom ever helpful to a case.
However, in considering how doctors can pose problems for Social Security Disability and SSI cases, the attitudes expressed by the third type of doctor (the doctor who may be your own personal, family doctor) can be the most problematic, and discouraging.
Why do I say this? Well, recently, I participated in a discussion on a New York Times blog and what was most fascinating to me was some of the comments left by individuals who identified themselves as physicians. Their statements clearly left the impression that they were suspicious of the motives of individuals applying for disability. And some were openly hostile.
None of which, of course, is a surprise. I've had doctors (treating physicians) tell me over the phone that they would not fill out a residual functional capacity form for a patient because they "don't do that" and I've read reports from doctors who have performed consultative medical examinations in which it was implied (based on a ten minute interaction) that the claimant was faking their condition.
Certainly, for an individual who is, or will be, in the position of filing for disability, having some "inkling" of their doctor's stance with regard to their claim would be helpful.
However, doctors are not always upfront with their own patients. I've seen instances in which doctors would intimate to their patients that they would be supportive in a disability case and, yet, tell me over the phone that they did not feel as though they could supply a statement in support of a pending disability case.
So, what does this mean for the patient who has filed or will file for disability? It may mean that it may not be a bad idea to attempt to gauge the receptivity of their physician (to a disability claim) early on in the process.
It may also mean that reviewing one's medical records early on wouldn't be a bad idea either, if for no other reason than to discern if any useful information regarding functional limitations is actually being recorded in the doctor's office notes.
What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?
Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?
How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?
Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved
What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?
What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Receiving a Disability Award Letter
Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
Applying for disability in your state
Most popular topics on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability SSI Questions
The listings, list of disabling impairments
Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?
Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials
How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?
How to apply for disability for a child or children
Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application
Filing for disability - when to file
How to apply for disability - where to apply
Qualifications for disability benefits
How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits
Qualifying for Disability - The Process
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?
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions
Social Security Disability SSI definitions
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
New and featured pages on SSDRC.com
Who can help me file for disability?
Filing for disability in California
How do I Apply for Disability Benefits in California
How long should you wait before you apply for disability?
SSD and SSI applications in California
What do you do if your California disability claim is denied?
Do you file for your children when you apply for disability in California?
Should you apply for disability in California after a denial?
How long does a disability case take in California
After you file for disability in California
Filing for disability in California and your condition
Filing a disability claim in California, long filing process
The California disability process
Do I need to be disabled a year in California to get disability?
The Social Security Disability process in California
California Disability determination process
Disability approval criteria in California
California Social Security Disability decisions
Steps to Win Social Security Disability benefits in California
Questions about disability in California
How much can you make in California and still apply for disability?
California Social Security Back Pay
Can Disability benefits be garnished in California?
Disability two year medicare waiting period in California
California review of Social Security Disability claim
California Social Security Disability status
VA disability and California Social Security Disability
Can a Congressman in California help on a disability case
How do examiners make disability decisions in California?
Applying for disability benefits in California
How long does disability take in California?
How long does it take to get a decision on a disability case in California?
Why do disability claims take so long in California?
How Long Will It Take To Get My Disability Decision If I Appeal in California?
Disability claims in California with certain conditions
Applying For Disability On the Basis of Back Pain in California
Filing for Disability with Fibromyalgia in California
Social Security Disability For Mental Illness in California
Winning California disability
Will a lawyer improve the chance to win disability in California?
Getting approved for disability in California
Winning disability in California
California Disability Lawyers and Representation
Getting a disability attorney in California
Finding a new disability attorney in California
Applying for SSI in California
Filing for SSI disability in California
SSI disability denied in California
Are SSI claims in California denied more than SSDI claims?
How to apply for SSI Disability in California
Doctors, medical records, and medical exams
Doctors and applying for disability in California
Can you be turned down for disability in California if your doctor says you are disabled?
Disability hearings in California
Disability Hearings in California
California quick disability hearing
How do I win my Social Security Disability Hearing in California?
How long does it take to get a disability hearing in California?
Disability denials in California
Disability Denied in California
If a disability claim is denied in California
Appealing a Social Security Disability denial in California
If you get denied Social Security Disability in California
Why are Most Disability Cases Denied in California?
Getting approved or denied for disability in California
Disability appeals in California
How do you file a disability appeal in California?
How many disability appeals do you get in California?
If your California disability appeal is denied, can you get another appeal?
If your disability reconsideration is denied in California
Filing a reconsideration appeal in California
Why was I denied disability in California?
Qualifying for disability in California
Qualifying for disability in California
Qualify for SSD in California
Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in California?
Disability lawyers in California
Using a Social Security Disability Attorney in California
Cost of a California disability attorney
Why do disability lawyers in California sometimes not take cases?
Hiring a Disability Lawyer in California
Social Security Disability Attorney Fees In California
How do Disability Lawyers in California get paid their fees?
Should you get a disability lawyer before you get denied in California?
Lawyer for a disability hearing in California
Why was I denied disability in California?
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.