Loading...
You are here:  Home  >  Claims Process  >  Current Article

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

By   /   16 Comments

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

Watch the Video: "When applying for disability benefits will I have to see a Social Security doctor?"

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.

    Print       Email

16 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

  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

  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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>