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When applying for disability benefits will I have to see a Social Security doctor?

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Learn when applying for disability benefits means that Social Security will send you to a doctor for evaluation and find out who will pay for the exam.

applying-for-disability-2

When a Consultative Examination
Is Required

Social Security will only send you to a doctor for a Consultative Examination if the medical records and other information you submit when applying for disability are not enough to make a decision on your claim.

Your Responsibility
to Prove Your Disability

If you are asked to go for an examination, you will receive a letter from the Disability Determination Services, which is the agency responsible for reviewing your claim. The letter will give you the name and contact information of the examining doctor, the time of the appointment, and how to confirm that you will attend. It is very important to your claim to confirm the appointment by the date given and to attend the examination on time and cooperate fully. If you fail to do so, your claim is likely to be denied.

When a Psychological Examination Is Required

Sometimes people who are applying for benefits based on a physical condition ask, “Why am I being asked to see a psychiatrist? I’ve never been treated for an emotional problem.” Certainly, that situation can be confusing, but Social Security has a reason for asking you to attend a psychiatric evaluation. Here it is: If the information in your claim file doesn’t support the physical disability you claimed and your reported physical symptoms could be caused by a psychiatric illness, then Social Security wants to find out whether you qualify for benefits based on a mental illness. For more information on how Social Security evaluates your disability application, please visit our article “How Does the Social Security Administration Apply Social Security Disability Laws to Determine If I Am Disabled?” and “Who Decides If I Am Disabled? If Both My Doctor and the Social Security Disability Doctors Say I Am Unable to Work, Will I Be Approved?”

The Doctor, the Purpose, and the Cost for the Examination

Just as an aside, the doctor to whom you are sent is not actually an employee of the Social Security Administration. Social Security asks a qualified doctor as close as possible to your home to perform the examination. Your own attending physician may even be asked to perform the consultative examination if he is qualified to do independent exams and is willing. A final note: the appointment has been set because you applying for disability and it is for evaluation only, not for treatment.

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99 Comments

  1. Kim says:

    Hi Kay
    I have a head injury and memory problems. Ssa sent me to a psychiatrist for a memory test. I just received a letter now they are sending me to a psychologist for a more formal memory/ iq test t. Is this a good sign?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kim,

      It is a good sign that they are carefully investigating your claim. It is not, however, an indication of whether or not you will be approved.

      Best regards,

      Kay

      • shon says:

        I had a doctor appt and a physc appt two weeks apt for my mental and physical claim its only been three weeks and I checked yesterday and they said my case was closed and ill get a letter ive been applying off and on for five years they said it’s been reviewed and now closed does that mean they have denied me

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Shon,

          It is likely that your claim has been denied. If it were approved medically and wer pending non-medical factors, it would say “pending.”
          If you really believe you are disabled–unable to perform substantial gainful activity, that is, earn $1,070 gross per month–and have not appealed before, you should request your claim file and read the reasons for the denial. If you still disagree, then you should appeal.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

        • Lupita says:

          I have a same exams coming up. What does these exams entail? Is the physical exam with blood work too?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Lupita,

            The consultative examinations requested by the Social Security Administration are for evaluation purposes only, not for treatment. They usually do not involve blood tests.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

  2. Laurie says:

    Hi Kay. This is my 1st time applying for PTSD,ADHD, and memory loss. They sent me to their phycologist in December and today when I checked my online status it said I need a amended application. What does that mean and is it a good sign? Thanks so much!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Laurie,

      I am not familiar with the term “amended application.” I suggest that you call your local Social Security office and talk with the claims representative who is handling your claim to get an explanation and find out what you need to do.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  3. Shawna says:

    I was asked to do a psychological exam however no medical exam was needed. I applied sept 2013 and when I called today (feb 10, 2014) was told I would have answer in next 30 days. I have severe rheumatoid arthritis.
    Is it bad that they do not want me to get a medical exam?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shawna,

      They did not request a medical examination because they believe that your medical records provide an adequate picture of your physical condition. It is likely that the medical information was insufficient to approve your claim based on your arthritis alone and that they are investigating to see if you have mental health limitations as well. If the mental health limitations alone or in combination with your physical limitations indicate that you are disabled as defined by Social Security law, your claim will be approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  4. Ronnie says:

    I reapplied after denial from judge in jan 2013. I was ask to go see SS doctors. When I inquired to SS I found out they did not have any of my medical records and as a matter of fact had not received any updated medical information on me since August 2012. I guess my other attorney was not forwarding my medical records, hence one of many reasons for my denial. Anyway, Ss has now received my records pertaining to my Bi polar yet they still want me to go for a physical exam. Is this a good or bad sign? What should I expect? I have medical records of my bi polar since 2009 and have not worked since then. This is my last chance at SS as my insurability date is March 2014. It is very important that I do everything possible to win. Suggestions?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ronnie,

      My suggestions are that you be sure that Social Security has all the medical information that could support your claim (which you apparently have done) and that you attend the examination. Also, if statements have not been obtained from your family and friends, ask them to write observations that they have on how your condition(s) affect your ability to function in daily life. If you have former work colleagues or supervisors who observed you having problems on the job, get statements about what they observed from them too. Lastly, be sure that you have provided a full list of your duties in occupations that you have performed and list which duties you couldn’t perform because of your conditions and why.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • angelia wilds says:

        Kay, my husband has been going through this for 6 years now. 3 years ago he had to do the same thing, go see their doctors. He went to a physical exam today and they could not see him, they said SSI has not sent over the medical records…Why did they not send it, because they sent it 3 years ago. Whats up with that ????????? The lawyer has giving them all the records up to date. Last time it was the heart Dr, Physical exam and mental. This time it was a physical exam and mental exam. We are trying to move and i’m freaking out just another set back, Can u help with this question??????

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Angelia,

          I would guess that someone slipped up in not forwarding the records to the consulting physician and that the physician’s office also slipped up in not cancelling the appointment in advance.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  5. apryl says:

    Hi,
    I am a above the knee amputee and half of my right lung removed. My question is I was approved for ssi 8yrs ago but while I worked I was not advised to switch to ssdi,so my benifits were stopped. I am reapplying and they sent me to a chiropractor and he flat said he dont know why they chose him.

  6. sue says:

    I got a letter from ssi saying they are sending me to s dr.to see how bad my arthritis is…..i had other medical issues wrong with me too….mentally issues …wby didnt they say i need to see a pjyschiatrist? And if they dont think myy arthritis is real bd….can i still get ssi for my other medical issues??

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sue,

      Apparently, Social Security finds that your psychiatric condition alone is not disabling. You could still be approved if they find either that your arthritis is disabling in and of itself or that you have limitations from each condition–arthritis and your mental health diagnosis–that when combined are disabling.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  7. Ruth bennett says:

    I have applied for disibility in Jan-2014. I received a phone call yesterday 3-20 about an appointment to see a social security dr. I have ms & why do I have to see this dr?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ruth,

      Apparently, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) claims examiner didn’t find enough information in your medical records to determine the severity of your MS symptoms and the limitations stemming from them. It is important that you attend the examination and cooperate fully. If you do not, your claim may be denied.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  8. Kathy says:

    Hello, I have been seeing a dr for right hip pain since june 2013, as when the pain started, I applied for ssd/ssi on the same day in oct of 2013. I was denied the end of dec, and I moved and did a reconsideration, I then have been seeing another ortho who is also saying the same as my original dr 5 states away. I also have terrible mood swings and GAD. I got a letter from the ss office with a dr’s name and number and appointment date and time. So I called and verified the appointment, also found out that I will also be seeing a psychiatrist for the mental part, which I have been and also a counselor. I found out this dr they are sending me to is a pediatrician. Why would they send me to a pediatrician for osteoarthritis, and labral tear? I’m beginning to think this is all a joke and a waste of time, I have all my documentations from the doctors and behavioral health center. So is this a sign that they are just making me do more work just to get denied again? And my current ortho wont prescribe meds and I havent found a family dr that will take my ins. Plus not working I cant afford anything as I have no funds. What do you think?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kathy,

      First, be sure that you should attend the consultative examinations. Failure to do so, could result in a denial I suggest that you also call the Disability Determination Services (SSD) examiner to double check that there is no error in your being sent to pediatrician. Mistakes do occur. If it is not a mistake, as for an explanation for the choice of specialists.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  9. Jason says:

    Hello I am 70% disabled through the Va. I had a l4 l5 fusion in 09 its not any better and MRI doesn’t show signs of improvement just normal wear and tear from age. I
    I have a plate and screws in my back. They sent me for a examine that lasted 45 min. Also I have PTSD from war. I was sent to a phys doctor. Also surgery on my right knee. I have a off set knee cap. I need a brace for my back and knee. I don’t take meds makes me sick and never helped. Also cronix migrainsm.y forward flrxstion was 5% side was 10% any chance of winning my case 1st time or 2nd time with a lawyer? Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jason,

      You have multiple conditions that may qualify you for Social Security Disability; however, if you are denied, get an attorney for your first appeal. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  10. shaunda johnson says:

    I have been applying for Social Security since the beginning of 2012 and was denied 3 times already. I have some physical, but more mental illness issues. I have been being treated for my issues for a very long time. I suffer from severe depression, severe anxiety and social anxiety disorder, sleep apnea and insomnia. which I take medicine for to sleep. well after fighting again for the 3rd time, I hope they are finally listening to me. I had questioned, why did they have me go to their independent Psychologist. so I went about 2weeks ago. do you think I have a better chance now to be approved? I will be devastated if they deny me again.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shaunda,

      I do not know whether you will be approved this time; but apparently the examiner thinks there are some questions about your conditions that were not answered in your claim file and is trying to gather more information for a decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  11. Nija Johnson says:

    I applied for my son for adhd and a speach impairment he was deniedv feb 28 2011 i apealed went in front of alj judge he was sent to a psychological evaluation were the man said nothing was wrong basically but I had notes from teachers,principal,preacher etc supporting our facts along with his doc records so alj said he needed to send him back out so he was sent to a mental exam were he was given wechsler lntelligence test for children forth addition diagnostic impression was Adhd/ borderline intellectual functioning and out of six domains four were marked. Im confuse why would the first person said nothing wrong was allowed to be by video when his findings were two years ago be the expert interpreter for the judge who was still negative. Instead of the mental expert three months ago? I did have an attorney who did get him to say, he sounds like a mild case of adhd with behavior problems he then said no futher questions. I then ask the judge what aboutthe new evidence. Judge said I am who sent you there ITS BEEN 3YEARS WHAT NOW!judge said id have a decision in 1 to 11/2 month. What does sound like

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nija,

      I can’t say for sure what the judge meant, but I would expect him to consider the evidence that he himself requested. I am not sure what you meant by the judge still being negative; however, if the claim is denied, you can request an Appeals Council review.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  12. blaze gilman says:

    Hi I Need to know if you filed for SSI because you have anexity so bad that you don’t leave the house and Don’t associate with the public. and you have mild Bone degenerative disorder. Can you get approved for SSI even If SSI does not requsted you to see their Doctor’s. And I have Limited Doctors records Due to Not leaving my House. And I have No work History at all. And I’m 40 Years Old.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Blaze,

      To be approved for Social Security or Supplemental Security income, you must present proof of disability either from your medical and psychiatric records or by a consultative examination. It is important to let Social Security know that part of your disability is so much anxiety that you do not go out of your house and that is a reason for few medical records. You may be asked to attend an examination and failure to do so may result in your claim being denied. I suggest that you consider asking one or more family members to support you in getting to such an examination by their going with you.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  13. Beverly says:

    I applied for disability in March of 2014, they first sent me a letter wanting me to provide more of my physicians addresses and numbers and I complied. This happened in April. Then in June they sent me to a physical exam doctor and I was waiting on the results from that exam which was on June 16th. Today June 28th I received a letter instructing me I have a mental exam scheduled for July 8th. I thought the reason for being sent to their doctors was not receive medical information. I have been to some form of doctor in the last two years around 50 times or more. I see a neurologist because Its been suspected MS for 10 years. I see a Rheutologist for fibromyailgia ,I have chronic back pain that I get very little help with because doctors simply do not give anything for pain for anymore because of the new laws. I have chronic headaches. I have blood disease. I have third stage kidney disease.And many other things going on. I have not received any denials yet. But my question is why sent me for a mental exam? I do have some memory problems and when I am stressed I have difficulty speaking at time but I do not consider myself depressed, anxiety at times but not depressed. Why would they send me for a mental exam?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Beverly,

      It would appear that Social Security wants to know more about your cognitive (memory and speech) problems.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  14. Kris says:

    Hi Kay,

    I have 4 herniated disks in Lumbars 3,4,5 & S1. Been to two neurologist, both agree they cannot guarantee surgery to alleviate my pain. I completed 6 weeks of physical therapy, only relief I found was it eliminated all the stiff muscles. Nothing alleviates my pain, except 5-6 times a day laying flat on heat pad. I am currently with a pain management doctor . I have also been diagnosis from my psychiatrist of almost three years with major depression with agoraphobia, panic disorder, and panic attacks. I went for my CE exam today and was pleasantly surprised at the empathy from this complete stranger. At the end of the session, she said “You did good”. Praying this means she supports the Mdd and I see an approval soon. It will be a year in August.

  15. melissa mckinney says:

    Hi my husban has been trying to get ssi for years now. This is the 2nd time he is trying for his heart condition. He appealed their decision because they left out a lot of his medical history. So now they have it but they sent him to a mental exam and the woman he saw said she was seeing if he could handle his own money. I’m just wondering what this means. Did he get approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melissa,

      If the only reason for the mental examination was to evaluate his capability to handle money, then you can expect that his claim will be approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  16. monica flen says:

    Hello,

    I wanted to know for a 6yr old that has been diagnosed with adhd and is receiving medication for this disability in school she is receiving a 504 plan and should she also receive an iep? Also, I want to know if i can apply for ssi for her as well? If so what information would I need?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Monica,

      I am not qualified to comment on whether your child qualifies for an independent educational plan. I suggest that you check with the school district. You can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to see if she is disabled as defined by Social Security. I suggest that you review the information under the “SSI” tab on the http://www.disabilityadvisor.com website for information about SSI, including the criteria for childhood disability. Submit medical information, mental testing, and any documentation the school district has.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  17. stephanie says:

    I applied in April and have not been rasked to see a Dr my attorney said I should have been weeks ago if I am not sent to a Dr what does this mean?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Stephanie,

      Not all claimants are sent to a doctor. If you have submitted enough information for Social Security to make a decision, they will not ask you to attend an examination. The delay may be that your claim is waiting in line to be reviewed. Sometimes due to large workloads there is a delay before the review begins.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  18. Chan says:

    SSI is sending me to a psychiatrist and a medical doctor, both in the same week.why is this? I suffer from a thoracic herniated disc, which I have been receiving epidural injections from, severe carpal tunnel in both hands which I had surgery on my dominant which made my problems worse, hypertension, IbS-c, severe anxiety, depression, chronic back, leg, hip and foot pain.i am also being referred to a rheumatologist by my neurologist for suspicion of auto immune arthritis. Can you give me some insight on this?? Thanks!! I can’t work due to all this I am so depressed…

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Chan,

      Social Security is sending you to medical and psychiatric examinations to gather information that did not find in your claim file. Be sure to let the claims examiner know that you are going to be evaluated for an autoimmune disorder and that you will give her the date of the appointment as soon as you have it. Then arrange to get a copy of the report to send to the examiner after you see the rheumatologist.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  19. Vickie Owens says:

    5 years ago I had a major surgery on right rotator cuff and collar bone and received SSD and after 18 months of healing, I went back to work and went off of SSD. I am now more critical with numerous conditions, Crohn’s Disease, A tear in the same shoulder, an ulcerated esophagus, fibromyalgia and arthritis. I have submitted all medical and had to quit work on June 5, 2014. SSD is sending me to a psychiatrist and a DO doctor. Will they take into consideration my age, (57) and my previous claim for SSD along with my medical conditions?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Vicki,

      Your age will be taken into consideration. Specifically, because you are over age fifty, you only have to be disabled from occupations you have performed in the past. You should state that you received Social Security in the past, but your claim will be based on all your current conditions and you must submit all your medical history. Information in your prior claim file will not be accessed if it has been five years or more since you were last eligible for benefits. If it has been less than five years, you might qualify for expedited reinstatement because of the tear in the same shoulder. If so, the five-month unpaid waiting period is waived. If it’s been less than five years since benefits were terminated, contact Social Security and say that you should have applied for expedited reinstatement.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  20. Tamika Homesly says:

    Hi I just recently applied for ssd and was stabbed all the way down to the bone with no meat left inside of my arm and caused nerve damage . the area where this happened was right over a tattoo which is kinda good because I took pictures of the injury so they won’t just think its some pictures I’ve stolen or isn’t mine. The tatoo proves it is will it be good to take the pictures to the medical examiner if asked too see one ?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tamika,

      You can take the picture to an independent medical examiner if you are asked to go to one, but the examiner will probably be more focused on any loss of function you currently have.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  21. Tammy Stacey says:

    I applied in May 2014 and I had all of my medical records that I gave them on the day I applied which was a year of medical records. Then my case was sent to quality review. Then they sent me to there eye doctor who said I have sever glaucoma and constriction (which I am applying because of my glaucoma) Then I got a letter stating that I qualify for temporary ssi and got 1 back payment and 1 regular payment which by the way I had a hard time getting because they kept sending it to my old account which was closed. Then I was finally told that my case came back from quality review, but it had mistakes and was sent to the doctor to be fixed. Then I was just told yesterday Aug 19, 2014 that I was denied on the 15th of August. Also in between all this back and forth I was told before my case came back from quality review with mistakes that I was approved. Does something not sound right about this whole thing to you or is this just normal procedure? And if their eye doctor found that I had sever glaucoma and sever constriction, but yet after saying I was approved then saying I was denied very confused?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tammy,

      Usually no payments would be made until the quality review was complete. If you believe that you cannot work, you should appeal the denial. It sounds as if you need legal assistance. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  22. leigh ann says:

    Hello! I was in an accident 8 moths ago, run kver by a drink driver. Anyhow im on my first appeal i have been left with many life long medical issues and face many surgeries. I still have sacral fractures that will never he and are unopertable. I got the letter for the mental health exam and the apointment was to be today. Well in the mean time i took it upon myself to send any and all medical records they called to inform the got them on friday of last week. It is now thursday and they have called to say they cancelled my appointment and it was no longer needed. The lady couldnt give any other information other than ill get a letter in the mail and my case was going on further to the social security admin. What do you think this means?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Leigh Ann,

      I believe that your claim is being medically approved. (Good job on gathering up the evidence.) The local Social Security office will review the non-medical factors of eligibility and take action to move your claim to payment, assuming that all criteria are met.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • leigh ann says:

        Yay thats what i was thinking too! Thank you for your response. Ive been on my toes for this for months. I even sadly had to return to work even under orders of bed rest just to get buy. I have been put on the indigence program but still have copays i had to cover each week. Its been rough and i struggle just to get in ten hours a week. I cant wait to get that letter. And be told i can stop struggling so much. Now then will i get back pay from the first time i filed or just from my appeal. Thank you again for your response. It seems your site here had helped out many!!

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Leigh Ann,

          Hopefully I am correct in my assessment that you have been approved. Back pay will be based on your original application. You will receive your monthly benefits before you get the back pay. If you applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI), back pay will start with the sixth full calendar month after you became disabled. If you applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), benefits will start the month after the month you applied, unless you applied on the first of the month in which case benefits will start with the month of application.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  23. David says:

    Hello Kay, I just received a letter from SS asking me to see the 2 doctors, one Psychiatrist, and a another it says physical, same day, 8am another at 1:30pm. My question is I just received the letter from SS, the app is 9 days from now. The app is for Friday Sept 5th, we will be driving that day back from S.C. Family Reunion. When I call my divisibility reviewer, will they let me reschedule, or have another app? very bad timing! thanks!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear David,

      You can call to ask to have the appointments rescheduled because you have a prior commitment. They may or may not reschedule them. Either way, be sure to attend the appointments.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  24. Chris says:

    Hi Kay.

    I attended my scheduled psych exam a month ago. Just last week, my local office called to confirm they’d received the report but were still missing medical records. So, I provided the information they requested, despite having already provided them during the application process.

    I’m a generic severe depression, severe anxiety, social anxiety and my social workers have had me certified as Severe Mental Illness.

    Sounds like my local office just got their hands on the report, hasn’t looked over the records thoroughly or in fact didn’t receive them. But they seems like they are actively investigating.

    What are your thoughts? First time application. Am I looking at an inevitable denial or still riding the 70/30 denial/approval odds?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Chris,

      Your assessment that your claim is being actively reviewed is correct. There’s no reason to expect a denial at this point. I suggest that you let your medical providers know that the Disability Determination Services will be requesting records for your claim and ask them to respond quickly. Also, get an estimate of how long it will take them to respond. I suggest that you ask the examiner to let you know if she has any trouble getting the records. Then check with the examiner a week after the medical providers’ estimated time frames to see if the records have been received.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  25. Rita says:

    I have basal joint osteoarthritis bilaterally and I have interstitial cystitis. I applied for disability. On Feb 2013. I was denied and requested an appeal after hiring an attorney. I went to my hearing with ALJ. Now I’ve been told I have to see an independent orthopedist and Internist/Urologist. Each visit states doctor will see me for only 15 minutes. How are two doctors that have never seen me or know my history going to determine I am disabled in 15 minutes?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rita,

      Apparently, there is something specific that the judge wants to know that he or she believes can be ascertained with a short examination.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  26. Joshua Valencia says:

    hello I applied for Social Security Disability based on my PTSD severe anxiety with panic attack and chest pain and torn rotator cuff Social Security schedule me for a medical evaluation and psychological evaluation I went to my medical evaluation and told the doctor everything about my post traumatic stress disorder my anxiety muscle spasms chest pain and shoulder pain after going to that the doctor also said i have high blood pressure just wondering why I was scheduled to go to a psychological evaluation but after this doctor’s appointment why they canceled my psychological evaluation what does that mean is it a good thing or bad

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Joshua,

      I assume that your psychological evaluation was cancelled because the claims examiner believes that he or she has gotten all the information needed to decide your claim from the first exam. This could mean that the claim will be approved, but not necessarily.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  27. Joshua Valencia says:

    Thanks for any and all help

    • Kay Derochie says:

      You are welcome, Joshua.

      • Joshua valencia says:

        hey I was wondering I have two doctors appointments with Social Security and they cancelled both of those after I already seen one medical appt for my post traumatic stress disorder I did the little test tested me and noticed that I had high blood pressure but he thought it could be due to my anxiety es I talked with Social Security last week and told me the amount I would be receiving and that I would be receiving a decision in December I was wondering if this was a good thing I filled out all the packets they needed and seen all the doctors they wanted other than the two they canceled thank you again for everything

        • Joshua valencia says:

          disregard this message Kay thanks for info you answered my question on the first post I just I my first question didn’t post so I apologize for reposting

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Joshua,

          If you have received a payment amount (not an estimate) and a date benefits will start, your claim has been approved. A letter of approval may come before or after the first payment.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  28. Lisa says:

    Thank you for answering so many questions, I am finding this all very confusing. I applied for SSD and a couple of weeks ago I went for an examination with the SS Doctor. He was very positive with me and told me he would get the paperwork in and it should be helpful to me. Today I have to go for lab work. Why would I have to go for lab work (don’t know what kind, other than it is at a cardiovascular institute)? Is this any kind of sign good or bad? I feel they are really looking into my case, but could the lab work make or break my case? Thank you!

  29. ni says:

    The SSD examiner called me to see if I had seen an MD since June. I have been going 1 to 2 times a week to a chiropractor at the Pain Management MD’s suggestion. Will this satisfy the Disability department? My medical NP says there is nothing else to do for me except meds, tens unit.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ni,

      Chiropractic records aren’t given the same weight as medical physicians. Make it clear that you are seeing a chiropractor as prescribed by your pain management physician. If the nurse practitioner’s opinion about future treatment was rendered since June, be sure to mention that as well.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  30. Flora says:

    I am being sent for a Psychiatric evaluation. I am a dialysis patient and have difficulties with my treatments, fistula and blood pressure. My doctor wants me to go on disability. I have never seen a Psychiatrist before so am not sure why I’m being sent to see him instead of an MD. Any thoughts and advice of what questions they will be asking me? or How I should ask him or her?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Flora,

      I can’t predict what questions you will be asked. Whatever they are, answer the consulting physician’s questions honestly even if you can’t see why they are being asked. You might also ask the examiner who requested the evaluation what has led him or her to request a psychiatric consultation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  31. Melinda F. says:

    I had a disability hearing, Sept. 25,2014,and I chose by advice from my attorney, to forego my case because my doctor claimed I was able to sit for six hours and can do sedentary work, when I cannot. My attorney said that this way I can keep my case from being denied. I was diagnosed by my doctor, who is actually a nurse practitioner, as having Lupus. I have severe joint pain, which I was prescribed Vicodin, Tramadol, and Flexeril for. I cannot sit still long enough for her to have written that I am able to sit and do sedentary work. These meds are taken daily, and cause me sleep most of the day. I checked through the client portal with this law firm, and found that my case is awaiting the ALJ’s decision. What does that mean, when after all I withdrew to keep from being denied? The information my primary care physician put on my file, when she filled out the RFC forms, basically threw my case out. But this is the thing,..she never examined me to have come to the conclusion that I could sit for six hours. I have never even had an MRI, nor seen any other specialist because she never got e referred. I applied for disability in 2012 because of my back, which was hurt from a car accident in 2010. And because of the death of my husband in 2011. I was having pain in my neck, and left shoulder to where it was impossible to do anything. So I while at the clinic that I attend, I got to see at least three doctor’s, and the last one a Nurse Practitioner. She just don’t seem all that interested in what is going on with me. How do you tell your patient that they have Lupus, and you see the pain they are in, yet you do a write up that doesn’t make sense, or measure up to what your patient is going through. I am 52 years old,and I hurt every day,from upon waking to getting to bed for the night. When I went to my hearing, I brought with me all of what I had documented of my pain,and aches,also the paper showing I am positive for Lupus. I showed this paper to my attorney,and shewas shocked, because it wasn’t in my file that my attorney had. I hurt now as I peck the keys on my computer. Also I checked back on the site of my lawyers, and found that the ALJ is still reviewing my case,and should have an answer in two to four months. Should I re-apply? Should I go back to that nurse practitioner, or get another doctor? What do I do! PLEASE get back to me!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melinda,

      To better understand your situation, I suggest that you talk with your attorney to get an understanding of what she meant by “foregoing” your case to avoid getting a decision and also for advice about what to do to document your limitations. Check with your attorney to be sure, but I don’t think you can file a new claim while you have a hearing decision pending.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  32. Melinda F. says:

    Thanks Kay,…
    I spoke to an attorney,and I was told to wait to see what the outcome of my hearing was.

    But thanks for taking time out to answer my comment.

  33. Melinda F. says:

    Hi Kay,..it’s me again. When i said “forego”, that was not what I meant. I withdrew from my hearing,because my attorney said that if I had gone on with the hearing the Judge would have denied me,and I would have lost a year from my case. So I withdrew. But now,I got a message saying a decision would be made in 2 to 4 months. Is this good? And because my husband died in 2011,and he worked all his life,would that factor in also?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melinda,

      If you withdrew your request for a hearing, it may be that a letter would still have to be sent and the judge would have to write a “decision” to dismiss the hearing or something similar. In any event, you need to ask your attorney to clarify your situation. Your husband being deceased does not have a bearing on your own disability claim. If you are age fifty or over, you can apply for disabled widow’s benefits, which is a separate claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  34. Lee says:

    Dear Kay;

    I applied for SSD late 2013 for CRPS & depression. It started in 2011 and I am still under the care of my neurologist, who stated my prognosis was “guarded” and indicated on a form for Social Services, that I cannot work or be retrained. I provided SSD with all the names & phone numbers of all who have treated me, my E.R. dates and medications, but they sent me for a mental health exam and a physical. I am in my early 50′s and have recently been diagnosed with PTSD, due to a death. Now the individual who performed the mental health exam for SSD also did the exam for Social Services. For Social Services, she said she was deeming me exempt from working. I honestly thought I provided enough medical info from all my caretakers. But have been told by other’s and have read online, that SSA does not consider CRPS a disability. I wear two different braces. One for day and one for bedtime. Is it true that SSA does not take CRPS (also known as RSD) seriously?

    Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lee,

      Some diagnoses are harder to prove because some of the symptoms, such as pain or fatigue, are hard to measure. That said, your claim will be considered based on the severity of your symptoms and the limitations they cause.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  35. Jerry Hunt says:

    Dear Kay,

    I have been scheduled to appear before judge in regards to my SSDI. My question is, Do ALJ’s have my blood work charts in DETAIL inside of my Exhibit List? As in, can they see my vitamin deficiencies and so forth? Do my drug test results (IF ANY?) show up in the file?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jerry,

      Whether or not the judge has the specific laboratory results you mention depends on whether or not you submitted those laboratory records as part of your appeal. If you don’t know and you have an attorney, I suggest you ask the attorney. If you don’t have an attorney, you could get a copy of the records you reference and take them to the hearing with you or submit them to the judge in advance of the hearing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  36. Lee says:

    Thank You Kay. I will add that they have added my recent heart attack & stent & a broken ankle from late 2013, that never healed and the PTSD, for the recent passing of my son. I felt that if the same CE for mental health, would provide the same diagnosis of unable to work for Social Services, she would be providing the same diagnosis to SSD.

    Thank you,

    Lee

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lee,

      Presumably, the examiner would provide similar reports both to Social Services and the Social Security Administration.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  37. donna reynolds says:

    I last was able to work 1/13 due to very severe cervical stenosis with myelopathy at C-7. I had an ACDF in 7/13. Approx. 80% of my body is affected with numbness, weakness, and spasticity. I have difficulty standing, sitting, lying, or walking for more than a few minutes. I applied in 7/13 and was denied around the 1st part of 11/13. It all went bad and on 12/31 I was making arrangements for a posterior laminectomy, which occurred in 2/14. In both cases, the surgeon said he doubted he could help me, but hopefully could keep it from worsening. I re-applied with representation in 7/14. I was notified that I had been put on medical hold because my condition needed to lapse for 3 months before I could be considered for SSD. This made no sense, so I called the examiner and the medical hold was lifted. I now have an appointment with one of their doctors for a physical exam. I am 51, widowed, and live in TN. I am wondering what my attorney should be doing at this point? They told me they don’t even pull my med records until the hearing phase, but instead make certain SS is getting all of my records. I have received no correspondence that they have done anything at all, as they said they would cc me on all correspondence they make to SS. Should I get my records for myself and distribute them accordingly? Do I need another attorney?? I have had no income at all since 1/31 and will soon lose my house to back taxes. All of my health care has come by way of the Indigent Care Program through our Health Dept., btw. I will be homeless if I have to wait the 2.5 years they are saying I’ll wait.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Donna,

      I suggest that you do everything you can to present your case now, to avoid the need to appeal. Compile a list of medical records (provider and date) that you want Social Security to have; then call the claims examiner who is handling your claim and say you want to confirm that they have received the records from your attorney. If any are missing, ask the examiner to defer a decision until they are received and say that you will follow up with your attorney and the medical providers. Then contact the attorney to ask the status of the request for the missing records. If records have been requested, follow up with the custodian of the records. Also be sure that you attend the consultative examination that has been requested.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  38. donna reynolds says:

    Update:
    The doctor SSA sent me to began the exam by stating that he hoped to help me. This surprised me. He did a quick physical exam and was very kind. He said his assessment of my limitations were as follows:
    No heavy lifting or pulling
    No prolonged sitting or standing
    No overhead work
    Limited arm and leg involvement.

    I hope this is conducive to approval.

    Thank you so very much for your time.

    Donna

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Donna,

      Whether or not you are approved will depend on whether or not those limitations keep you from doing work that you have done in the past and if you are under age fifty any new type of work you could otherwise adapt to.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • DONNA REYNOLDS says:

        Oh, Kay, thank you for that reply! I was 50 when I first applied, and a widow. I have computer skills, but they were obtained in the mid ’90′s. Other than that, I have worked retail. I also recently found out that someone I knew for years, but haven’t seen in a while, works for a U.S. Representative. I will be 52 in March.

        Thank you once again,
        DR

  39. Lisa says:

    I am now waiting on a decision and am afraid to go to the mailbox. I had to see a Psychologist for cognitive testing this past Wednesday. I mentioned to him that I had a sleep study done on the Sunday before. The next morning, Thursday, I got a call from my case worker wanting the number for the place that did the sleep study. She said that was the last thing she needed. I know she got the information from the Psychologist’s report. Is it a good sign that she still wanted another medical record after getting his report. Otherwise, wouldn’t his report be enough to give me a denial, if that is the way they are headed? I am hopeful, it is an approval and the sleep study recorders are just to tie it all up. Any thoughts? I am worrying myself sick.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lisa,

      You cannot at this point know what the decision might be. It could be an approval; it could also be a denial. The examiner could not finalize a denial with outstanding medical information. My principal thought is that there is no point worrying before you get the decision. If you are denied and believe you truly cannot work, get a good Social Security attorney and appeal. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  40. amy says:

    Hello Kay,
    My husband served in the Marine Corps. for over 16 years. During his third deployment in Iraq in 2006 he was hit with an IED and suffered a head injury and back injury. Finally in early 2013 he medically retired and had a 90% rating from the VA. On top of his physical injuries, he suffers from severe PTSD, Anxiety, anti social, depression and suicidal just to name a few. For a while I’ve ask him to apply for ssi but hesitant due to stories his heard from other veterans who have been denied and doesn’t want to go through that same stress. He finally agreed and three months later he’s being sent to go to a mental and physical evaluation. However, the Dr. he’s seeing for both exam is a chiropractor? Is this a common thing? I mean , shouldn’t he be seen by a physician and a psychologist? What are the chances he will be approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Amy,

      I would have expected a back evaluation to be by an orthopedist or physiatrist and his mental health condition by a psychiatrist. I suggest that you respectfully as the claims examiner why he is being sent to a chiropractor, especially for the mental exam. Perhaps an error has been made.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

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