Social Security Disability Resource Center

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What is a CE and how does it affect my NC disability claim?




 
Note: The SSDI, SSI disability system is federal and nationally standardized, though there are state differences in approval rates, wait times, the number of appeals available--as of the time of this writing--and even the name given to the stage disability agency (DDS, or the Bureau or Division of Disability Determination). Now, to answer the question...

"I have applied for disability in North Carolina and they are trying to send me to a CE, what is this and what is it for?"

A fairly high percentage of individuals applying for disability in North Carolina ares scheduled by a disability examiner (examiners work at NC DDS in Raleigh, NC) to go to one of these examinations. A CE is a consultative medical examination. It is an examination performed by a physician, or psychologist, or a psychiatrist, depending on what type of exam it is. The exam could be an IQ test, or a psych evaluation, or a memory scale if a person reports memory issues.

If the exam is physical, it may be a neurological assessment, or pulmonary spirometry, or it may simply involve having xrays done. Physical CEs tend to be short in duration, sometimes lasting only 10 minutes. They are done by doctors who do not work for SSA, but who have contracted to perform these types of exams for SSA. They can be performed by your own doctor if you wish and if your doctor agrees. They are usually not that helpful in getting a case approved.

Why are they done? In most cases, so a disability examiner at the Raleigh DDS (disability determination services, the North Carolina agency that makes decisions on cases for SSD and SSI filed in North Carolina) can have access to medical evidence, in this case the CE report, that is not older than 60 days.

Individuals who have not been seen by a doctor for quite a long time will usually have to go to a CE. Individuals who list a condition they have never been treated for will often have to go to one as well. Depression is a good example of this.

Many people will list depression on a disability claim without ever having been treated for depression. This may result in a CE being scheduled. The important thing to remember about a CE is that it does not make or break a case. That said, if one is scheduled you need to go because repeated failures to show up at a CE appointment can result in a case being denied for failure to cooperate. Also, the CE is paid for by SSA, not by the claimant.








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