Overview of Disability

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Disability Requirements

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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

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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

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SSDRC Disability Blog

Getting seen by a doctor for Social Security Disability in Texas

The term "Social Security Doctor" can be a little confusing to individuals who file for disability in Texas. This is because the phrase actually applies to two different types of doctors.

Only one of them, however, actually works for social security. This is the ME, or medical examiner, who works with the disability examiner (at a state agency that renders disability determinations for the social security administration) on either a disability application or a disability reconsideration (the first appeal).

The second type of doctor, the one that does not actually work for social security, is the doctor who conducts the independent medical exam (usually referred to as a social security medical exam, or a consultative medical exam). Though this doctor is actually a private physician who has contracted to provide examination services for social security disability and SSI cases, he is usually referred to as a "social security doctor" by claimants.

Now that we have the defintion of a social security doctor out of the way, what are the examinations conducted by these doctors like? As I have written several times, the examinations are as follows:

1. The exams are short. As a disability examiner, I was frequently told by claimants that their exam only lasted ten minutes and sometimes not even that long. This is despite the fact that social security administration rules actually require a doctor to provide a minimum of thirty minutes for examinations.

2. Very often the social security doctor conducting the consultative exam knows little to nothing about the claimant's medical history. This happens even when the disability examiner who has scheduled the exam has sent some of the claimant's medical records to the examining physician.

3. Too often, independent physicians performing such exams are somewhat rude to the claimants they see.

So, what should an applicant for social security disability or SSI in Texas prepare themselves for in the event they are scheduled to be seen by a "social security doctor"?

First of all, the claimant should remember that these exams are not for the purpose of providing medical treatment. In fact, in most cases, they are scheduled for only one reason, which is for the disability examiner or disability judge (if the case is at the hearing level) to obtain a recent medical record snapshot of the claimant.

Very often, this becomes necessary to the processing of a case when a claimant has not been to a doctor in more than two months or when a claimant has not received treatment for a condition that they have listed on a disability application. Secondly, of course, the claimant should keep in mind the things I've discussed in this post, which is that the exam may be incredibly short and the doctor may be suprisingly detached or even rude.

However, despite this, a person who has been scheduled for an exam should always go to their appointment. A failure to attend a CE (consultative exam) will mean that the exam will need to be rescheduled, which can waste several weeks of valuable time (especially valuable for claimants whose financial situations are deteriorating). And a repeated failure to attend a social security medical exam can actually provide the basis for a denial (for failure to cooperate).

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

Related pages:

Physician Support for Your Social Security Disability Case in Texas
Why most SS Disability Claims are Denied in Texas
Getting seen by a doctor for Social Security Disability in Texas
Is it Difficult to Win Social Security Disability in Texas if you have Mental Illness?
Social Security Disability in Texas and Physicians
What is the Representation Fee for disability claim in Texas?
Who is eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI Disability in Texas?
The Texas Disability Hearing and Doctor Records
Will my doctor help me on my disability case in Texas?
How many people win Disability Benefits from Social Security in Texas?
What do I Bring to a Social Security Disability Application Interview in Texas?

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 to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
How does back pay for Social Security disability work?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Status of your social security disability or SSI case
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
What is qualifying for disability based on?
How to qualify for disability, qualifying for Benefits
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Disability application, how to file in Texas
Texas disability requirements
Eligibility and qualifying for disability in Texas
What are the qualifications for disability in Texas?
Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Texas?
Getting a Texas disability lawyer, attorney, or advocate