The process of applying for and receiving disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA) can involve several steps. Often, it may be necessary for one of the SSA’s own doctors to examine you.
Their goal is to determine whether you qualify for disability benefits based on the severity and nature of your condition.
Will I Need to See a Disability Doctor?
The SSA doesn’t always request that an applicant see an SSA doctor before making a decision about an application, but this is a possibility for which you should prepare.
There are various reasons the SSA may decide it’s necessary for you to receive an examination from one of their physicians.
The SSA typically makes this type of request when the information an applicant has already provided isn’t sufficient to prove they are eligible for benefits.
The SSA may collect additional information by sending an applicant to one of their own doctors for a consultative examination (CE).
What is a Consultative Examination (CE)?
The SSA itself doesn’t technically perform your consultative examination. Instead, an independent physician the SSA has contracted will perform the CE on their behalf.
Be aware, even if you have already seen your own doctor for substantial examination, the SSA may nevertheless still require a CE.
The specific details of the CE could vary depending on such factors as the nature of an applicant’s disability. Generally, though, the doctor will ask you questions about your medical history and the manner in which your condition impacts your ability to work.
To better evaluate the severity of your condition, the physician may also require you to undergo X-rays, blood work, and other such diagnostic tests.
Keep in mind that the goal of a physician performing a CE is to confirm your eligibility for benefits. Their job is not to provide treatment.
Preparing to Meet With a Disability Doctor
Preparing for your CE is essential. You can do so by:
Gathering all relevant medical records and documentation
Preparing to be honest and accurate when discussing your symptoms and limitations
Preparing to answer questions about the various ways your disability affects daily activities
Preparing to answer questions about your mood and emotional wellness if you’re seeking disability benefits due to a medical condition
Get Help With Your Disability Claim
Gathering medical evidence when preparing for a CE isn’t a task you need to handle on your own. If you have made the wise choice to enlist the help of an attorney when submitting an application for disability benefits, they may help you gather the necessary documentation.
This is one of many reasons it’s smart to consider hiring a lawyer. With the guidance of an expert who has experience handling cases such as yours in the past, you may more easily navigate the application process.
A lawyer’s expertise might also improve your chances of receiving an approval when the SSA reviews your application. To learn more about how a disability attorney can help you, complete the free case evaluation and speak with one today.