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

By   /  March 3, 2016  /  525 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.

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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.

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525 Comments

  1. Rosalie says:

    Hi Kay

    Your blog is very useful and lots of useful information. My question is DDS examiner is very nice and always returns my call. They obtained my medical records for my hearing impairment she asked if I had any other condition and I told her that I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea two years ago. She asked if I wanted to add that to my claim and I said yes. She is trying to obtain my medical record and she said once she receives information u will know there decision within 2-3 weeks. Us this a good sign? I tried to check status on line but there is nothing available it just says we cannot access your file at this time but this has been the same response for over two weeks. I called the SSI office and they can’t give me any response either. The DDS examiner told me that I will not need to see any doctor and the medical records they obtained for my hearing is sufficient. But what’s delaying the decision is because I added the sleep apnea condition. i will follow up again on Monday but why are there no available information of my claim on the SS website? Is this because I’m denied? What do you think my chances are?im born deaf my right ear and my left ear is not good either plus I have severe sleep apnea condition I was fired at work because of my disabilities this January. I’ve been trying hard to hide my hearing impairment but I think it’s more obvious now.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rosalie,

      The disability claim examiner if your best source of information; there’s no need to worry about the online record not being accessible or lacking information. If you want to try to speed things up, contact the medical provider for your sleep apnea and try to get the records released.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Rosalie says:

        Hi
        Thank you for your response. On Friday she left me a message to tell me that she has not yet received the medical records for my sleep apnea. She then said if I still want to add that to my claim otherwise a decision has been made. What does this mean that my claim with or without the sleep apnea records will not matter? I’m just curious why my records of status on line is not available wherein other cases are?

        Thank you

        • Rosalie says:

          Also since the process is happening rather quickly. Is this a bad sign? What do you think my chances are of getting approved ? I know hearing impairment and sleep apnea condition is hard to get approved.

          Thanks

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Rosalie,

            The speed with which a decision is made is not an indicator of approval or denial.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Rosalie,

          I cannot reliably explain why you are being offered a decision now rather than waiting for the records. However, if you think the sleep apnea records will establish that you have symptoms that interfere with your ability to work, then it would probably be better to wait for the records to be received and considered.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  2. Jay says:

    I was recently diagnosed with non hodgeskins stage 3
    large b cell diffused lymphoma. Also I had12 pins an titanium bars placed in my lower back so my back was fused because the cancer ate up my sacrum .i also have a adnormal kidney and i had to have a internal stent put in because the cancer was blocking my urine flo and i also have a tacky cardia that makes my heart rate elevate and i have a lack of oxcygen in my body that makes me lose my breath and get winded but i was still denide

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jay,

      I suggest that you appeal. To help prepare for submitting the appeal, I suggest requesting a copy of your claim file to see the exact reasons for the denial and to see if any evidence for your claim is missing. I also suggest that you hire an experienced Social Security attorney to formulate a strong reconsideration appeal. When you hire a Social Security attorney, 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 before they send your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  3. len says:

    I had ankle subtal fusion mar 2016 and I am stii non weighbearing. I will start pt in mid June. I have bilateral ankle arthritis and instability. The other ankle will be operated on when the first one heals completely. I have medical noted chronic lower back pain with arthritis as well. I had a SSA exam today, the Dr said she doesn’t understand why they sent me for a orthopedic physical when I’m non weighbearing. My question is will they make me go to another exam or hold off a decision until I start weighbearing. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Len,

      It is possible that a decision will be deferred until it can be determined whether you will be disabled for twelve months, which is a requirement to receive Social Security benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • len says:

        Follow up question.. I recently had my va medical exam for disability and it stated I am unemployable due to the ankle fusion. My condition will last 12 months or more. I requested and contacted SSA to have this exam results in my file. Will I still have a deferred decision based on this medical evidence as well thank you

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Len,

          Whether or not the decision is deferred to closer to twelve months will depend on whether Social Security accepts the opinion of the VA physician. You can call the claim examiner’s attention to the fact that the report is being sent and that the evidence supports that your disability will last twelve months and you would like it to be reviewed when it comes in. Then check in a month to see if has been received and whether the review is still deferred or active.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  4. Annette says:

    Hello I am 54 yes old and PCP had ex ray showing bone spurs and osteoarthritis in both knees,in ankle and should in lower back. The case worked had said he didn’t need anything else and at he had made his decision he said when he passed it to the examiner they want me to go to a Dr for ssd for physical exam and ex ray in my hand because it was found in medical records of having problems with my hands. I haven’t worked since 2010.. in records it shows degenerative osteoarthritis with sclerosis forming in my back. Do you see my case being approved the 1st it denied thank you for your help

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Annette,

      I can’t predict whether you will be approved, but it sounds as if a thorough investigation is being done, which is good because you are more likely to get a correct decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • TAV says:

        Sorry I was unsure where to post my question. My apologies for posting in a response. I filed in Feb 16 with cervical spinal issues. 2 weeks since first cervical spinal surgery as of today Went to the CE today and they asked that I go to have an image of my lower lumbar taken. Which i was baffled by since my entire claim was cervial related. Saw the doctor. She couldnt do much of an exam and said image was not necessary. Should I be concerned my file is in jeopardy or just wait it out and see what happens? I canot image 2 weeks post op can hurt my claim.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear TAV,

          I suggest that you communicate with the claims examiner who ordered the lumbar x-ray. Let him or her know that your problems are cervical, not lumbar. Say that you are willing to have the image done but you wanted to double check because it’s the wrong part of your body. (Note that I am a little unclear about which doctor said that the image was not necessary. If it was the consulting physician, you could mention that to the examiner as well, but make it clear if she still wants you to have the imaging done, you will.)

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  5. Eliza says:

    Crazy application story but here goes: I lost at my appeals hearing in July and my attorney said not to appeal because the alj was a ‘jerk’ but re-file because she could win me on papers. So I had her reapply for me and everything was filled out from their office. THEN DDS sent me to 2 consultative exams and my atty. withdrew when it looked like she could not win me on papers. So now I have an open claim and no idea what was filed from her office. I went to one CE but could not attend the CE psych eval because of a flare up of my disabling condition and DDS refused to make an accommodation. One of my conditions is generalized anxiety and I had been going to counseling but my counselor dropped off the face of the earth without warning, and didn’t even tell her practice where she was. In the mean time I learned she had not kept records of our appointments and probably took my journal that I’d given her with her. So I have no records of my appointments to back up my anxiety claim. In the mean time I spoke with my DDS who mocked my disability before she had received any of the CE findings. So I feel like the ultimate bad experience with SSA and don’t know what to do next if I am denied! Any thoughts?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Eliza,

      Get another therapist right away and try to get a psychiatric evaluation by a psychiatrist or psychologist on your own and submit the results. Simultaneously, ask to speak to a supervisor at the DDS to get the psychiatric exam rescheduled. Explain to the supervisor the reason for missing the exam and how the loss of your therapist contributed to the flare up. If you are denied before you can get evaluated on your own, appeal after you’ve gotten the evaluation, but don’t miss the sixty-day appeals period.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  6. Eliza says:

    When I told my adjudicator I had looked up my CE psych eval. outfit online and discovered they were a temp agency, she began to mock my disabilities and said SSA should hire me to data mine like that guy on Hawaii 5-0. How do I even begin to complain and to whom do I complain about her biased and unprofessional behavior? And how do I insure I’m getting unbiased consideration for my claim when she treated me like that?

  7. Lori says:

    I have a question my SSI claim is in reconsideration and I files online today when I called my local SSA office to acquire about my claim at first she said there was nothing on file but then finally she said she found it and said it was on paper and that was strange and in medical? For it to be on paper does that mean I was awarded? Thanks in advance

    • Lori says:

      I filed on Feb first and called today sorry about that

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Lori,

        Please see my response to your first post.

        Thank you,
        Kay

        • Krista says:

          Dear Kay,

          I couldn’t find where to post a new question so I apologize for doing it here. I was just told I need to go have a physical evaluation for “future uses” done. What does this mean? It will be 2 years in June since my initial disability claim. I have already had my hearing in February, all necessary documents were turned in by deadline of end of March. I have a lawyer who doesn’t seem to helpful as when I asked what this meant they told me they didn’t know, I find that hard to believe. Thank you, Krista

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Krista,

            I have not heard the term ” for future uses” before. Maybe the judge wants a baseline to compare to when your claim comes up for a continuing disability review or to decide how far out that review should be scheduled. Regardless of the reason you are being asked to go to the exam, unless your attorney says otherwise, be sure to attend the exam; failure to do so could result in denial.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lori,

      I would think that “on paper” would mean as opposed to all the information having been scanned into a computer. The fact that it is “in medical” means that the medical review of your claim is still in progress and no decision has been made.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  8. Regina says:

    Hi, I have a question about my claim. I was denied on my first initial claim for my physical disabilities, severe lymphedema, lipoedema, factor V, herniated lumbar disc, spinal stenosis, depression and anxiety. I am now in the reconsideration phase. My physical conditions are well documented, however my family doctors are the ones who have always prescribed my depression and anxiety medication. Bi-polar runs in my family along with depression and anxiety. Social Security sent me for a mental evaluation, I did not get the results on that, however SS said my mental capacity does not impair me from working. Would it be better for me to go to a Psychiatrist and get my symptoms documented with him/her and my medication from him/her and then send in the updated physician information. Or does it not matter who issues my depression and anxiety medication. I just want Social Security to know that my depression and anxiety are getting worse and want them to be seriously considered for my claim. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you…

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Regina,

      You will have a better chance of being approved for benefits if you shift your mental health care to a psychiatrist and get a full mental health evaluation by a mental health professional. If you decide to do so, do it quickly so that you can include the report in your appeal, but be sure not to miss the sixty-day deadline for appealing. Also address all the reasons the decision is wrong, not just those related to your mental health.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Rogers says:

      Hi, I am having an issue on finding the correct manner to post a comment / question with regard to this topic. But here goes – I have a claim in and have been sent a request by SSA to attend a consultative examination. I am currently receiving benefits from my employer’s insurance company for my disability for the last year. The doctor that is doing the consult has some very unfavorable reviews and also is not a specialist in my type of injury. I have ongoing care from both my orthopedic doctor and neurologist.

      Do I have to attend this visit? Will this doctors opinion be seen by the insurance company that is currently providing my benefits? I continue to have regular visits with my doctors, what is the problem with using their diagnosis and work restrictions?

      Thank you very much,
      Rogers

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Rogers,

        Do attend the consultative examination. If you don’t, your claim may be denied. Try to get your orthopedist and neurologist to make a statement regarding your limitations. If they have already done so with details to support their opinions for your insurance company, try to get a copy from the doctors’ offices and submit the statements to Social Security. If they were supposed to have been submitted, check with the claims examiner to be sure they were received. Also be sure that Social Security has all the test results that support your diagnoses and limitations and restrictions.

        The consultation examination report cannot be given to any third party without your written authorization, so your insurance company will not see the report.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  9. Joshua says:

    Hello,

    I am a non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma patient who is u set going a relapse and secondary treatment. I am being scheduled for a stem cell transplant. This is all in the blue book for an automatic qualifier. The examiner told me it would be about 10 days for approval once I turned in the paperwork and then she went on a 3 week leave. She just got back into the office and today she called to tell me she was scheduling me for a state doctor to evaluate me for depression. How does this relate to my cancer treatment and is this a good or bad sign? The “blue book” diagnosis is supposed to fast track approval but this doctors appointment seems to extend what factually fits into an automatic qualifier.

    Please help with your thoughts.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Joshua,

      I suggest that you call and talk with the examiner again and reference your primary diagnosis. It may be that you will be approved based on your physical condition and the exam is being conducted to determine whether your depression, which was probably mentioned in a chart note, is being done to determine whether you are mentally capable for managing your benefits or need a representative payee.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Robert Baylor says:

        I’m frustrated, with all this waiting they have my medical records and I got a lawyer and a doctor I also see two therapist mental I still have to see one of SSA judge this is to much. What can I do.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Robert,

          You have appealed and you have legal assistance. That is all you can do now except wait. Stay under the care of your doctors. When you get to the hearing, be honest and follow your attorney’s advice.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  10. John says:

    Dear Ms. Darochie,

    I am 62 years old and have an open NY workers compensation case for neck injury and concussion resulting from a fall I took on 24 Mar 14. I had been a high school teacher for over 20 years till that accident. I have been out of work since that time as I had nearly 200 sick days built up. My comp case has been proceeding without too many issues. I had a two level fusion operation on 21 Jan 15. I am still seeing the concussion doctors and now, a psychologist for pain management.

    My comp lawyer advised me to apply for SSD. I did in late January of this year. I was shocked by the rapid and efficient response to my application. The turnaround was literally a couple days with the local office-I had a brief phone interview and a couple of days later, the state examiners sent me a packet to fill out which I did and sent directly back to them in Kentucky. I followed up with a phone call to insure records were being received. Very soon after, I received notice to attend a CE on 24 February, this past Thursday. I attended.

    This happened in 4-5 weeks.

    My questions are, if you can hazard an educated guess, is this normal? Does it indicate a likely decision one way or another?

    Thanks for your time.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear John,

      People who reach out for third-party information are those whose claims hit a snag. Many claims are processed fairly quickly. Additionally, there are variations between office workloads. The quick processing of your claim is not an indication of approval or denial; however, your condition as you describe it indicates that you have a reasonable chance for approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • John says:

        Ms. Derochie,

        Today, my wife took a phone call from the DDS examiner. She answered some questions regarding my activities around the house. The call lasted about five minutes and my wife said the examiner mentioned that she was finishing up the case.

        I guess now, the wait begins. Will it be a long wait?

        Thanks again for your time

  11. Rosio says:

    I just checked the status on my claim is says there is no decision made yet but they are requesting an amended application

  12. Michelle says:

    I have a question. I have recently switched one of my drs and Im not sure that it was such a good idea…we are still on a getting to know basis but I had to have them fill out the physical residual form for my lawyer and I am a little concerned because they dont know me that well yet…I mean I was denied and now were awaiting a hearing but they have since found out I have a blood pressure problem and I have been int he hosptial three times and just a lot of different things so I am not sure did I make the right decision or is it wrong to ask them to fill out the paper work with me there so that we can discuss it?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michelle,

      Please see my response to your first post.

      Thank you,
      Kay

      • Michelle says:

        Hi Kay, I am wondering about the physicalresidual form that I let this new dr fill out. I mean he filled it out without me there and he still does not knwo me that well yet. I am a little concerned because I have Systemic Scleroderma Fibromyalgia, I have a chronic anemia problem and a blood pressure problem that causes me to get dizzy when I stand because my Blood pressure drops and some of these things were not noted on this form. Now I am still in contact with my other dr did I make the right decison by swithching in the middle of all this and if its ok do I have the right to ask him about the form and some of his answers, I mean since he still is getting to know

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Michelle,

          Yes, you have the right to have your new doctor explain the answers he gave and to let him know about limitations and symptoms you have that he did not list. You can ask him to amend his statement with any omitted information.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Jules says:

            I applied in December for my 11 year old granddaughter and I’ve heard not other than pending. They have not sent us to Drs or anything??

  13. Michelle says:

    I have a question. I have recently switched one of my drs and Im not sure that it was such a good idea…we are still on a getting to know basis but I had to have them fill out the physical residual form for my lawyer and I am a little concerned because they dont know me that well yet…did I make the right decision or is it wrong to ask them to fill out the paper work with me there so that we can discuss it?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michelle,

      You have the right to know what your doctor puts on the form; you could get the information by being present when the doctor completes it if the doctor is willing or by looking at the form after your attorney receives it. You could also ask the physician who previously attended you to complete the form based on your condition when you last saw him or her. This might be especially helpful if you are claiming a disability date from before you started with the current doctor. I suggest that you discuss completion of the residual capacity form with your attorney for guidance based on the specific facts of your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  14. cathy says:

    I have a few things I am concerned about and hope I can find someone here to help me either feel better about them or knows enough to explain. One of my issues are my hands…had carpal tunnel release in both few yrs ago along with de que vains release on left but now have the de que vains on right along with basil thumb joint artheritis in both thumbs..bony spurs not sure if both or one for that and decreased mobility with both thumbs. been and diagnosed by ortho hand surgeon with reports and xrays. I just moved here from Illinois just over a yr ago haven’t worked since 2013 (end of that yr) but I took a rfc report to my dr here to fill out and he did this is what concerns me:
    he has my diagnosis in here..he has decreased mobility in here…the treatment he gave..says my prognosis is good..(hmm) ..checked yes to last or already lasted a year for my impairment as he has in a note here by that saying I was also treatd in oct. ’14 by my ortho before coming here…has checked rarely 0-30 for carefully handly objects and same for handle with fingers…has chcked pounds I can lift and carry in 8 hr periods less then 5lbs samd amount for regular/daily…he wrote yes to my disability preventing me from certain motions as liftin..pulling..holding objects etc…frequentcy of pain interment and pain level 5 out of 10 he wrote…he wrote good to my credibility of regards to claims of pan…the objective medical reason for pain he says is repetitive activities…NOW this is where im confused…first of all my carpal tunnel and wrist tendon issues I had surgery on in 2011 was from my job of 17 yrs and my wrist never healed right so I was let go from that job..they could no longer accommodate me as I was put on permenant restrictions..it was a repetitive assembly job and some heavy lifting..anyway he marked yes he believes I can resume work but NOT that above work BUT I tried working an office job helper after this job ad didn’t work either as it started in my right wrist so had to leave that job after a yr..then next box he checked that disability is NOT likely to change..last box asks when h can expect me to be able to return to work with or without restrictions he wrote..3 month on average but MAY be up to 6-12 months in my situation!! Then he wrote a letter saying I would NOT be a good candidate for surgery that the prognosis won’t be good!! I have a hearing with the ajl in aug how will this be looked at by the judge? signed worried!! I had to take this form back 3 times already to get answers that weren’t answered and now he says hes done with it!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cathy,

      If you have an attorney, discuss the Residual Functional Capacities (RFC) statement with him or her for the best way to handle it. One idea is to get involved in a vocational retraining program. If there are not jobs you can perform with your restrictions, the vocational assessment will establish that and you will be able to present the vocational findings for your appeal. If there are jobs, you will have the benefit of knowing what they are so you can pursue them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • cathy says:

        Hi Kay…I do have a vocational report for my left side that I went to back when I had my surgery that still causes problems and permanent restrictions forever that says only patient currently presents an ability to work at a *light* physical demand level and performing gripping..wrist and forearm motions (against force) in a *rare occasional basis and all vocational decisions should be made with this in mind and how I presented with full effort doing the testing. now I have the same wrist problem in my right hand along with the artheritis in thumbs (both) and I just seen the dr last week saying I will not be a good candidate for surgery so had a 2nd opinion and that dr agrees. I just don’t get how he wrote I *may* be able to return to work in 6-12 months with my condition. And how I can’t handle and finger but on a 0-30% level. What do I make out of this..im confused. and thank you for replying!!

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Cathy,

          If based on your work experience, education, and training you can perform occupations within your light-work limitations as described, you will not be considered disabled as defined by Social Security law.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  15. Tammy says:

    Hello. I called ssa Wednesday to see if they needed me to do anything to help my claim since I just had a new hospital stau and she said, “I sent it over to the doctor for review so hopefully we won’t need more information but if we do I will send for those records, but call me Friday to see. ” I called Friday and she said there was enough information in my file to make a determination and I should know something in the mail by next week.
    I know it’s all speculation but am i wrong to feel more hopeful since they decided they didn’t need to review the new admission records?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tammy,

      My conclusion is the same as yours–that your claim is being medically approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nicole Vacha says:

        Kay,

        I have a similar question. I was sent on 4/24/2016 to “SS doctors” psychiatric and internist. I spoke with my adjudicator and he stated that he received their reports and reviewed them. He said he is sending them back to them for review and signatures. He told me he likes to give each Doctor two weeks, so I am looking at another 4-5 weeks before I recieve a determination. I want to be hopeful and say I was approved because I am unsure why it would have to go back to both docs for signature. What is your take on this? Have you heard of this before?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Nichole,

          Maybe this examiner has the doctors send an advance copy and the examiner reviews to be sure the report is complete and, if it is, then requests the signed copy.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Nicole Vacha says:

            Kay,

            My benefits letter on ss now states “no cost of living adjustment” with my birth date. I am also seeing my estimated benefit amount again as of today. I called adjudicator and he stated “a decision was made Friday and sent to my local office”. What do you think all this might me as far as denial or approval? Thank you, Nicole

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Nichole,

            You can’t be sure of a pending claim’s status from the auxiliary information online. You should receive notice within a week. If you do not, contact your local office to see whether they have received the decision and can tell you what it is.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Nicole says:

            Thank you so much Kay

          • Kay Derochie says:

            You are welcome, Nichole.

  16. barry campbell says:

    HI!!! IM confused i applied for ssi several days ago a decision was made (without them ever sending me to a dr) the decision was made in 80 days. Is this a good or bad sign?? Has had me so nervous waiting to find out the decision.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Barry,

      The speed of the decision and the lack of a consultative examination are not clues to whether your claim has been approved or denied, but you should be getting a decision letter within two weeks of the decision being made.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  17. Wendy says:

    All my records were recieced in sept. 2015. I first applied in july 2015. This is the 4th time i have applied for my ssi. The ssa has not sent me to any doctors this time. I have bipolar 2 dosorder, borderlune personality disorder, depression, anxiety. Also i have copd and many other health problems. I was told by social security that if i had not heard anything by jan 19 to call them back. I did and still to this day i havent revieved an answer. Please help.

    • Wendy says:

      I also have been diagnosed with obescity due to my bronchial asthma and COPD. i forgot to include that.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Wendy,

      Try calling the Disability Determination Services to speak to the claims representative to find out what needs to be done for a decision to be rendered. If you still can’t get through or don’t get a decision by the time a new date is promised, you might try contacting your congressperson’s office to see whether they will follow up, given that your claim was filed six months ago–longer than the estimated two to five months.

      Sincerely,

      • Wendy says:

        I called disibility determination services on thursday feb 3rd and i was told they had recieved more medical records on october 23 2015 when i was previously told they had everything in september 2015 and that my case is still pending. I really need my disibilty and i feel like they are running me thru themud. Ive had drs personally tell me that i should have already recieved my disibilty the last time i applied in 2013 and was denied.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Wendy,

          Apparently there is a backlog of claims pending. About all you can do is wait unless they asked you for something.

          Sincerely,
          kay

  18. Lynn says:

    Hi Kay,

    I’m sorry to bother you but I have a question! I’ve been receiving SSI for about 5 years now and I was up for a review. I have a representative but they had sent some forms to me after the first review forms which was sent to my representative. I didn’t realize they had sent me anything and because of my disability I didn’t check my mail for at least 2 week which is now past the date they wanted the forms back. One of the forms was to confirm my psych evaluation appointment. Now I’m worried & stressed out they will deny my claim since I didn’t send the forms. I just finished filling the forms and will send out asap! Do you think they will accept it still & process it or will they likely deny my claim. Thank you in advance!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lynn,

      I suggest that you call right away to explain the situation and to say that the forms are coming. Hopefully it will be in enough time that you will not be terminated. If the appointment date that you were to confirm still in the future, you also need to find out whether it is still set up or has been cancelled. If it is still set up, let them know you will attend. If it has been cancelled, ask them to reschedule.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  19. Gale says:

    Hi Kay,

    I started receiving disability in 2007 due to having a plethora of mental issues including bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and finally IED(determined by the doctor sent to evaluate me). After finally having the right mix of medications, I was able to hold a job, this being almost four years into being on disability. In August of 2013, I was just sent a form to fill out for review of being disabled. After two months, I got a letter saying that since I was able to hold a stable job, I was no longer going to receive benefits by the end of the year. I was only working part time and so I picked up a second part time job. Things began to deteriorate quickly. Having no health insurance, I couldn’t see the doctor or get medications. The stress of having two jobs without medication was becoming overwhelming. During this time, my mother died unexpectedly of a heart attack. This triggered even more anxiety, depression and anger. Over the course of the next eight months, I had quit(without notice) both of my jobs, abandoned my apartment and moved to another state. After four months, I was finally encouraged to apply for disability again, mostly due to the IED causing problems for myself and others. So in January of 2014, I did. By June, I got a letter denying me. By this time, I was moving again because of lack of income and didn’t have a way to appeal it.
    Now to back track a bit. I’ve been hospitalized due to suicidal thoughts in the past, I’ve been arrested a couple of times and have a misdemeanor on my record. My childhood was filled with parents who verbally, emotionally and physically abused me. I’ve been molested by family members and raped numerous times. I’ve dealt with drugs as a teen, been in abusive relationships, never had a steady job for long, moved alot due to income issues, been on and off medications due to inability to pay for them and see doctors. Since being dropped from disability, I’ve gone back into the same hole. I have no way to pay for doctors and medications, have not had a job since September of 2014 and my IED is beyond the limits of safety for those around me.
    I have just recently applied again for disability with the help of others.

    Can I request that they have a doctor evaluate me if I can’t remember all the names of the doctors that I’ve been to over the past 20 years?

    Can I ask that I get a copy of the record from the doctor that diagnosed me with it IED and that it be used in determining my disability again?

    Also, any advice that you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Gale

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Gale,

      I recommend getting as many of the records as you can that include the diagnoses. Also, be sure to put on the forms that you received disability in the past, lost eligiblity because of working, and then decompensated causing you to quit jobs. Also reference the effects of the death of your mother. State that you have not had medical insurance for whatever length of time you have not and, thus, no recent treatment. Ask for an evaluation, though they may automatically set one up. Give a brief chronology of how your mental health has contributed to instability since leaving work and give your history of abuse. (They will not have your prior claim file.)

      Also, if you see this in time, I recommend applying for insurance under the Affordable Care Act during the annual open enrollment period which ends January 31. You may be able to get insurance with a government subsidy for premiums, which would allow you to get an assessment and treatment both for your health and for your claim. You can apply online at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Gale says:

        Hi Kay,

        I finally received a letter that states this:

        Because your impairment began recently, or because your condition has been complicated by further illness, it is necessary for us to hold your claim until 7/20/2016. At that time we will contact your medical sources for additional information.

        Firstly, the recently began impairment they’re referring to is my vision loss due to having diabetes, which I included in the application. Also, is it that they only focus on one impairment of an application and make their decision solely on the findings for it? I ask because they haven’t addressed my mental impairments at all yet.

        Second, what and why exactly do they need to hold my claim for? I don’t understand this process of the application. Why would they need to wait for three more months and contact my medical sources? Don’t they have what they need now?

        Thanks,
        Gale

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Gale,

          To be eligible for benefits, you have to have been or be expected to be disabled for twelve months. Claim investigations are put on hold when twelve months of disability have not passed and improvement within that twelve month period is possible. Given that your claim is being put on hold, I would say that they have not found your mental conditions (and maybe your physical conditions prior to the worsening of your eyesight) to be disabling.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  20. Lori says:

    Sorry to bother you again but I was wondering if your case was sent to Quality Assurance is that good or bad? I contacted Social Security and they told me there was a hold on my case so I called the DDS agent to see why and he said that Quality Assurance had my case so now I am worried if I got a denial or approval on my claim. So do you think it was an approval or denial because I have read different things on the Internet? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lori,

      Claims are selected randomly for quality assurance review, so there is no way of knowing whether the decision being reviewed was an approval or denial.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  21. Cheryl Renee says:

    Good afternoon Kay, I applied for SSDI in Sept.2015. In Dec.2015, I was sent for an CE. In Jan. 2016, I called the 800 number and asked about the status on my claim. He responded that I wouldn’t hear anything until the end of February 2016. I then called the Determination Board and spoke to my worker (who was extremely pleasant) and she stated that she had just made a decision about my claim and everything went through on Jan. 15 and that I should be receiving a letter the following week. I asked her did that mean I was approved? She stated that she couldn’t tell me that but I will be alright. Does that seem Positive. Kay, Thank you in advance for all your help. You’re truly a GODSEND. By the way, I have COPD, INFLAMMATORY ARTHRITIS, SLEEP APNEA & ALTRIAL FIBRILLATION. I’ve worked for 38years and I am 55 years old. I graduated from High School and had 1 year of college. Thanks again!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cheryl,

      I would say that the examiner’s statement that you would be all right was a cryptic way of saying that you would be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Cheryl Renee says:

        Thank you very much! I did receive my APPROVAL Award letter on Thursday, 1/28. Thanks again for your time, patience & knowledge. Thank you for being here! Also, I wanted to share that this was my FIRST time applying without an attorney and everything went very quickly and smoothly.

  22. Lori says:

    I went to my mental CE on the 12th. The lady was nice and it took an hour and fifteen minutes. While doing this examination there was a couple of times I was talking she actually was crying with me. After she told my I had two things going against me and that was my age and my education but as for medical she believes I should get my SSI. So what do you think my chances are? Do you think my chances are good with what the CE said and where she was crying too of a favorable report from her as well?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lori,

      The consulting physician does not make the disability decision. However, it sounds as if the physician will write a report that you do have limitations so it is possible that you could be approved. Of course, you will not know until the actual decision is rendered.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Dwayne Berry says:

      Hey,i am an hispanic 25 yr diagnosed with sickle cell anemia.I used to get cris back in the early 2000s-2005.My crisis had took an vacation from 2005-2009.When 2009 came around i had an eye bleeding called (vitreous hemorrhage).Normal people will gets vitreous hemorrhage by trauma or diabetic,in my case my sickle cell triggers this eye bleeding.There is no cure for it.I gets eye bleeding on and off,basically my eyes will bleeds for 3-4 weeks,goes away..then comes back again.badically my eye bleedings are like an light switch.In 2011 i had an episode it bled past 4 weeks, then 2 months ,then 3 months.it didn’t went away.I had this pool of blood swooshing in my right eye for up to 8 months without no improvement going away.My eye doctor had so many risk of not doing an virectomy surgery on me because of me loosing my eye,going instantly blind due to my illness,however i told him i had enough and i needed it done.My eye surgeon thought about it and done the surgery.Fast forward my another episode came along and hit my (left eye) did another virectomy surgery in October.In december i decided to apply for Ssdi/Ssi in my local office with my surgery paper works + a note from my doctor explaing i have ongoing eye bleedings that can comes anytime it wants without no warnings.About 2 weeks afterward SSA sent me a letter for an CE.I was shocked and still had gone to my surprised to find out this had nothing to do with my eyes,and it was for an physical.This completely BS and made no sense,i still dobe the physical.I called my case manager asking why sends me to so an physical,shouldn’t i be going to an eye specialist,she said it’s just for internal medicine evaluation.My ? is will i be going back for another CE possible, does my illness sounds very severe,posdible denial by the CE etc.Thanks

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Dwayne,

        I don’t know why you were sent for a general physical. If you claim is denied, I suggest that you appeal with the help of an experienced Social Security attorney. When you hire a Social Security attorney, 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 the retroactive award before sending your back pay to you.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  23. Connie K says:

    Good afternoon Kay,

    Here is a rundown on my case.

    Applied SSDI online August 2015. I spoke with my caseworker on 12/03/15 and advised her I had an appointment (referred by my spine doctor) with a surgeon on 12/15/2015. My caseworker called and set an appointment with a psychologist on 12/15/2015 and a physical on 12/29/2015. I kindly reminded her that I had a surgeon appointment on 12/15/2015 per our prior conversation. My surgeon appt is 3 hours round trip. My caseworker wouldn’t call me back to let me know what to do about the conflict. The day of the appointments, the psychologist called me in early, one hour prior to us leaving for my surgeon appointment and asked me to come in. I told him about the other appointment and he promised I would be done in time; I was. My husband was not home yet from work to drive me to my appointment. Now, my surgeon says surgery is a must and set me for a pre-op appointment on 12/29/2015; the same day that SS physical appointment is.
    Question: Now what? Do I cancel my pre-op or ask to reschedule the SS physical doctor? I need the surgery, I also know I am required to follow any instructions SS wants. Why am I required to see SS dr’s if a surgeon clearly says there is a problem that requires surgery, again? Very, very frustrating.
    Please, any advice on how to handle this would be helpful.
    Connie K

    • Connie K says:

      List of current conditions are:

      Spinal stenosis from C to L
      Post Laminectomy Syndrome
      3 cm perineural cyst impingement S2
      Multiple bulging discs Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar levels
      DDD, Arthritis.

      I was fired from my job because of my disability, even with some accommodations. If I was let go from my job after 9 years because I couldn’t sit/stand/climb stairs due to all the pain, numbness etc. I have had the same doctor for several years. I was fired March 2014 from a job that I sat 90% of the time.

      Question: is there anything else I can be doing to help with my case?

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Connie,

        You have not stated what you have done already to support your claim, so I can’t say for sure. One possibility would be to submit statement from your employer your more recent employer of reasons you were fired from the last job if the employer was able to see signs of your pain. The same would be great from the prior job, but nine years later that seems very unlikely. If you haven’t already, you should list the reasons you were let go.
        Also, see my response to your previous post about submitting recent medical records from the surgeon.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Connie,

      Try to reach the claims examiner to find out if she still wants the exam or just wants the chart notes from the appointment with the surgeon on December 15. If she still wants the exam, tell her you will try to change the pre-op time. I am suggesting that because if you change the consultative exam to a later date, it may be in conflict with the surgery date or recovery from surgery. If none of that works out, you will just have to decide which is more important to you to pursue at the present time. If you cancel the consultative examination, do it in writing as well as by phone. State the reason for not attending and keep a copy of the letter. It is possible that you could be approved without the exam based on the evidence of needing surgery. If not, you can appeal and present all the surgical information in the appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Phillip oduro says:

      Hello mr derochie.i saw the judge about five weeks ago still waiting if am aprove.anyway i had a spinal fusion surgery in 2012 and i hav not worked since.i still go to therapy and sees my doctor once a month for pain meds.oxycodone 30mil.i take it three times a day.i have a long medical history with mack and knee pains.anyway when i saw the judge he called an expect on the phone on a speaker and asked him if my back can prevent me from working.lets just say he wasnt on my side.he said as time goes on i should be fine.i was so mad cos this doctor doesnt have four screws in his back so he doesnt know how it feels.anyway kay with all my medical history and me not being able to walk about four blocks and not being able to seat for fourtey minutes do you think i have a good chance or the doctor messed me up already

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Phillip,

        It is reasonable to assume that the judge wanted a medical specialist to interpret your medical records and so the judge will consider the doctor’s opinion. This doesn’t necessarily mean your claim will be denied. It is possible that the evidence shows you are disabled now, even though the medical expert’s opinion was that you would get better in the future.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Phillip oduro says:

          Thank you soo much KAY.o and one more thing.the judge also called an expect in the job industry.one of the problems is i stutter so the judge was asking the man if there are other jobs i can do that doesn’t involve me talking alot.even tho the problem is my lower back.i use to drive for a living.am soo comfuse and it feels like the judge doesn’t want to give it to me.even though i have four screws in my back and its not easy for me.i can only walk like two or three blocks and the judge knows that.and all my history and i even see my doctor once a month for pain meds for the past three yrs.even before i filed for disability.i hope the judge will please on my behalf?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Phillip,

            The judge considers all your conditions including your speech impediment in deciding whether there are jobs you can do considering all your conditions.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  24. Dee says:

    Hi Kay:

    I’m a 59 year old female with moderate/severe Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). All my RA blood test results are positive and i can no longer hold onto items for more than a few minutes without dropping the item as both my hands are crippled with RA. Additionally, as a result of this RA I cannot sit for more than 10-15 min or walk for more than a few minutes without having to stop and rest. In July 2015 I filed for SSDI and was told on 11/3 that no additional info was needed to make a decision on my case as SSDI had received all medical records, including all blood tests performed, physician appointments, dates of chemotherapy treatments, drugs prescribed for daily pain, spine surgeon evaluation, RFC report from RA treating physician, etc. On 11/24 I was notified by my attorney that my case had been selected on 11/9 for a review with Quality Assurance and was now with a medical reviewer. Today, I received word that my case was returned to the Disabiity Examiner and a consultative exam has been scheduled for Jan 4, 2016. Will you please share your thoughts on why a CE would be scheduled after a Quality Assurance Review and after being told no additional info was needed for my claim?

    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dee,

      The quality assurance review resulted in a determination that there was not enough information in file to support the decision the claims examiner made. Be sure to attend the exam.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  25. Nyjah says:

    Hi Kay ,,

    I Applied For SSI , 9/3/15
    May 23rd Of This Year , I was in a bad car accident . Which I Fractured my Humerous Bone In 4 Places .. As A result from the break , I Now Have Radial Nerve Paraylisis.
    I Have No Use Of My Right Arm .. I’ve been seeing my sergin / orthopedic regularly , as well as a neurologist.. Along with plenty of therapy…
    I Sent All Records to Ssa-
    2 months later ,, DDS Mailed a Letter notifying me to attend a Mental CE …
    I was puzzled as to why ,, ? Would they want to check my mental status .. Rather then my physical state ..
    I Went Anyway ,,
    The Doctor was very nice – The appointment lasted 15 mins …
    Towards The End Of The Exam , She Asked Me ” Was I Able To Manage My Money ” ??

    Was That Question ,,, A Good Sign ??
    Or Normal Protocol ??

    #Curious

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nyjah,

      The mental health evaluation was probably requested because your medical records mentioned depression, anxiety, or some other mental state. This in turn could require a mental health evaluation to determine whether you are capable of managing your funds to pay for housing, food, and other necessities first or whether you need a representative payee to manage your funds.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nyjah says:

        Thanx …
        But What do u feel about Her Asking Me ,, Can I Manage Money ???

        Was That Question A Good Sign ???
        Beings As Though , She Didn’t mention much about my impairment.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Nyjah,

          The doctor wanted you to have an opportunity to testify in your own behalf. It is really not a sign of anything beyond that.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Susie Brodie says:

      Why I’m I being sent to SS Doc.after my hearing and not before

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Susie,

        Likely the judge reviewed your claim file right before the hearing so there was not time without resetting the hearing date. Another possibility is that the judge thought something might come to light during the hearing that would eliminate the need for the examination.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  26. kim says:

    Can I go to a dds doctor of my own free will? My doctor wants me to go to one so I can be approved when I first apply, and so I can get my insurance back, or should I wait until I am told to go?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kim,

      Social Security will pay for a consultative examination only if one is needed. Your doctor can support your claim by writing a statement giving his or her reasons for believing that you cannot work. The opinion should be supported by clinical or test findings.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  27. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay,
    When approved for SSDI and have a three year CDR is it exactly in three years ?? and its scary to think you have to go through that whole process again. it wasn’t pleasant going through and it was very stressful the first time !! Thank you very much Kay !!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      The review might not be at exactly three years, although it is not likely that it will be early. You will be asked to update information about your condition and your treatment and any work since you were approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  28. Carla Berner says:

    Hello Kay,

    I applied for social security disability in June. I have received a letter for a psychiatry eval. My caseworker said that no medical doctor will be needed due to all of my documentation I have for medical issues. Can I ask her if I have enough of medical information to get disability is that wrong or should I just wait for this psych eval I do have a history of depression anxiety and cannot sleep. I haven’t been to a psych doctor in a year so she wanted me to see one what do you think the outcome of this will be I do have a lawyer if need be. I have documentation fibromyalgia rheumatoid arthritis high blood pressure coronary artery disease loss of hearing dizzy spells chronic headache and chronic pain. I also have herniated L 3,4 and 5 in my lower back with a damaged nerve to where my left foot is numb. And I do have carpal tunnel but my doctor says is now neuropathy because all of my fingers and both thumbs being numb. thank you for any input

    Sincerely
    Carla

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Carla,

      I doubt that the claims examiner would answer the question you want to pose. You are being asked to attend a psychiatric examination either because the examiner has found that your physical conditions alone are not disabling or that they are and she has to have a mental assessment to see whether you are capable of receiving your benefits directly and managing your funds.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  29. Carter says:

    Kay,

    I have a couple of questions to ask. I read your article, and I have a learning disability that causes me to go into deep depression. I new something was wrong but I never learned it was depression unto a cpl weeks ago. I have not seen a doctor for this illeness. So my question is will I be deined because of this? My question number 2 is, I only have school records of my learning problems will that be enough?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Carter,

      Your school records will help your claim, especially if you had an individualized learning plan or attended special education classes. You will also need medical documentation. Accordingly, Social Security may ask you to see a physician for an evaluation. They will pay for the examination. If you are asked, it is important that you attend.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  30. maria sturm says:

    Hello, my 18 year old son have Aspergers Syndrome since kindergarten, and was (or is still) on SPED education. He applied today October 9, 2015 and the examiner told him that he needs to see their doctor. How long does he have to wait for an appointment to see their doctor? I was told around 4 to 5 months to get that doctor’s appointment letter. Is this true? Thank you very much.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Maria,

      It would be quite unusual for it to take four to five months for a consultative examination date. Four to five weeks would be more common. Maybe the examiner misspoke. I suggest that your son call to double check.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  31. Rolando says:

    I am receiving a 100% PTSD and major depression disability from the VA. I applied for the same disability benefit at the Social Security office about 2 months ago. Social Security sent me questionnaires including the one for my treating psychiatrist at the VA. Everything was sent back to them except the questionnaire from my VA psychiatrist. Unfortunately, my psychiatrist is on medical leave and will not be back until November. Now, the social security scheduled a psychiatric exam for me. My question is, what are the consequences if I don’t use this psychiatrist they are sending me to. I would rather wait for the questionnaire evaluation from my VA psychiatrist. Please let me know my options. I know these doctors do not work for the Social Security. I’m just afraid that my disability claim will be denied as these doctors are not sympathetic based from the stories that I hear from reliable sources.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rolando,

      If you refuse to attend the examination, your claim could be denied, so you should attend the exam. Also find out from the VA psychiatry department whether VA doctors are allowed to complete Social Security forms. If so, you have a choice about having your doctor’s decision considered. First, you could send a letter to the claims examiner saying that your doctor will be returning to his office in November and that unless your claim is going to be approved based on the consultative examination, you want the decision to be deferred until his report can be submitted in November or December. (If you have an appointment set up, take the form to the appointment and ask him to complete it while you are there.) Alternatively, you could just go to the exam and if your claim is denied, appeal submitting the statement from your doctor.

      If you do have to appeal, I recommend hiring an experienced Social Security attorney. 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 the retroactive award before sending your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Rolando says:

        Thank you so much Kay for the information. Your quick response is very much appreciated.

      • Nichole Noel says:

        I have voluntarily taken in a very polite addict into our home. He wanted to end his life. After he came off a ventiltor his family rejected him. For the past two months l have nursed him back to health and taken him to specialist both on a physical and mental health assessments and to get him on a proper medical pharmaceutical regime. Today l took him to a doctor to order a colonoscopy. The doctor asked wheather I had consulted with family protective services and ordered a home my home not his patients house as he is a recovering guest. He also ordered drug testing. This appears invasive intrusive and l have no intention of having an investigator invited into my home. I am a private person and protective of my home and affairs including our finances. Once allowed i my life and family would be under scrutiny. How can l tactfully refuse and deciline and do l need to pY for a legal consult? I am extending help and money to a wellmannered human down on his luck.

    • Melissa says:

      Hello Kay, I have applied for disability about a month ago. I went to the psychologist they referred me to and I called today they have received the report back from him. She stated that they are just waiting on their doctor to review it. What does this mean?

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Melissa,

        The information you received indicated that your claim is moving toward a decision fairly quickly.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  32. Marion says:

    Hi Kay, Just wondering why when I go to mysocialsecurity, it won’t show anything other then my birthday on my benefits verification letter. It says even if you have applied you can print one stating you are not receiving benefits at this time. I applied in May and it is still in the medical process, but nothing else shows up except my birthday and that is the only option it gives me in the customize your own section. Any ideas? Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Marion,

      It sounds as if the website has a programming error. If you need a letter saying that you have applied and are waiting a decision, you should be able to get one at your local office. Tell them that the online program isn’t working.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  33. Glenda says:

    Hi Kay I applied for my 9 yr old son on December 2014 he was sent to see a doctor which we went 3weeks ago is has an IEP has speech problems an is adhd how long does it take for them to make a decision

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Glenda,

      You may receive a decision in a month. If you don’t, you can call the hearing office to see what stage the appeal decision is in.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  34. Rodney says:

    Dear Kay,

    What do you think my chances of approval are? I have Diabetes w/ neuropathy, HBP, Sleep Apnea, 2 carpal tunnel surgeries on left wrist and pending one on my right. Surgeon noted that surgery may not help due to neuropathy as it did not help the left. I also have DDD in neck along with disc problems and DDD in Lumbar. I am Bi-Polar w/ chronic depression, OCD, and all the other anxieties that go along with it. I have bone spurs in my feet along with plantar fasciitis. Both big toenails have been removed permanently along with the other two problems make it difficult to stand or walk without pain. PCP and Psychiatrist have both filled out RFCs in my favor. I take three blood pressure medicines and one for Diabetes. I also take Lamotrigine for Bi-Polar along with Elavil, Lexapro, Valium, and Temazepam. All these meds have multiple side effects that make work and concentration difficult. I am at the one year anniversary of my reconsideration denial and awaiting hearing. I have a lawyer and inquiries from my state Representative, Senator, and White House. I know you can’t predict the outcome, but looking for that reassurance we all want. Thank you.

    • Rodney says:

      I forgot to add that I am 48

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rodney,

      I wish I could give you reassurance, but I really can’t predict whether or not you will be approved. It will depend on whether or not there are occupations you can perform with your limitations. Claims based on a combination of conditions are often hard to prove, but are most often approved at the hearing level. It is good that you have an attorney to present your case.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  35. Sean says:

    Hi… I applied for MDD Severe Recurrent 5 months ago. I received a notice for a CE in June and I sent current medical in July. I spoke with my adjudicator and she verified the new info was received and said it was sufficient but she verified I was still going to the CE. All my medical from 3 psychiatrists addresses my functional limitations as observed… Daily crying spells, poor attention/concentration, mood swings. I’m curious why the CE is still necessary?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sean,

      The exam may be to determine whether you are capable of managing your funds so that your housing, food, and other necessities are paid for before the money is used for more discretionary expenditures.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Michele says:

      Hi Kay, I have applied to Disability 6 yrs ago. The judge made 13 pages of mistakes on my behalf. I have Hep C, Ptsd, anxiety, panic attacks and depression I recieved a partial payment then was denied there after. My attorney took it to the U.S. district court and was ordered to reopen my case cause I had sent more documentation regarding a motor vehicle accident which now have 10 blushing discs, osteoarthritis, nerve damage, shoulder surgery. Plus hands and feet in pain and tingling and numb. Have MRI’s to support my issues along with a letter from my Dr stating unable to work due to issues and the meds they put me on. I have to now see an internist/Arthritis Dr and a Psychiatrist ordered by the judge. I also have an attorney. I’m confused on why??? I have all this supporting documentation. And again going thru this for six years. What are my chances? And does this also mean my case is coming to an end

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Michele,

        I don’t know why the judge ordered examinations, but you should attend them unless for some reason your attorney tells you not to, which is very unlikely. Otherwise, you are increasing the chances of being denied again.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  36. Alicia says:

    Hi Kay.

    I am a 55 year old female who applied for my SSD about 4 months ago. I was sent all of the forms about what I could/couldn’t do in a day and the forms pertaining to my past employment. I was also sent to their dr and have done that a couple weeks ago.

    My physical problems are busted discs in my cervical (with stenosis) and in my lumbar, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, memory loss. Since I applied for the disability I was forced to have a cervical fusion due to the pain I was experiencing and because my spinal cord was suppressed 60%. Since my surgery, I am still experiencing severe pain and nerve loss. My rheumatologist has me on Plaquenil to help with the joint loss and pain. I have documentation from all doctors (Neurosurgeon, Rheumatologist and Pain Management) and it has been sent to SSA. I also have an MRI showing all of the problems in my back which has been sent as well. I am scheduled to see my Pain Management doctor tomorrow regarding a PHYSICAL RESIDUAL FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY ASSESSMENT which she will be doing in her office and I will then send that to SSA as well.

    What do you think my chances of getting approval are?

    Thanks for any advice.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Alicia,

      I can’t predict whether you will be approved or not; however, it seems that you are being thorough in gathering and submitting information related to your medical conditions. A cognitive evaluation to assess the degree of memory impairment you have is one thing you didn’t mention in terms of evidence. If you are denied and believe the decision is incorrect, I recommend appealing with the assistance of an experienced Social Security attorney. When you hire a Social Security attorney, 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 the retroactive award before sending your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  37. Brenda says:

    I firgot to say that my reconstruction was the DIEP flap. I have a gigantic scar the whole width of my abdomen. It remains sore. My chest, also. Also, she never sent me to one of their doctors for a physical exam just a mental. Thanks Kay

  38. Lisa says:

    Hi Kay:
    I am thinking about applying for disability but have hesitated for quite some time. I am 49. Ive worked since I was 16, I was raised to always work for what I needed and I have. I hate the thought of NOT working but with my issues, Ive been encouraged by family and even my doctor to file for disability. A brief rundown of my problems: trigeminal neuralgia that affects the entire left side of my face from hairline to neck, severe uncontrolled diabetes that affects my lower legs with peripheral neuropathy (can’t feel my feet), carpal tunnel in both arms although no EMG testing has been done and Id prefer to not use this issue in consideration for disability if I can help it. These are the main problems with secondary issues stemming from them that I’m not listing. I also have a disorder where the blood pools into my lower extremities and causes ulcers, swelling, weeping sometimes and a lot of pain. My job is as a medical transcriptionist, I have worked at this job for nearly 30 years. I can’t even feel the foot pedal that I use and sitting up with my legs facing down for up to 15 hours a day is making my condition worse. Because I can’t feel my feet and the pain in my legs, its hard to exercise so Ive gained a lot of weight in recent years, which makes all conditions worse. With the above problem list, what are my chances of (1) being able to see only my family doctor since I have severe white coat apprehension and prefer to see females for personal reasons, plus I am self-pay and do not qualify for insurance in my state; (2) not having to seek an attorney; (3) actually being accepted for disability and what would my percentage of income be with my age and symptoms? I am in the state of Michigan, if that makes a difference. Thank you so much for your opinions.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lisa,

      Your benefit if approved will be based on your earnings record. You can request an earnings statement with an estimated disability benefit by setting up a “My Social Security” account at http://www.ssa.gov.

      I cannot predict whether you will be approved, but you do list some serious conditions. If you apply, it is important to list all conditions, not just those you want to. If your primary doctor’s records are insufficient, you will be asked to attend one or more consultative examinations. If you are asked and don’t attend, your claim is likely to be denied. (You can try requesting to be seen only my a female physician and that might be possible.)

      If you are denied, I recommend hiring an experienced Social Security lawyer for your appeal. When you hire a Social Security attorney, 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 the retroactive award before sending your back pay to you. I also suggest that you go to http://www.healthcare.gov to investigate your options for enrolling in insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  39. Brenda says:

    Hello Kay. I filed for SSDI March 3, 2015. I was diagnosed with Stage 2b breast cancer 12/2/13. I went on to have 16 rounds of chemo. Then I had a modified lateral mastectomy with 14 lymph nodes removed, 2 being positive for cancer. I then had 25 rounds of radiation. I was out of work from 12/9/13–9/15/14. I tried to work but it was extremely difficult due to joint pain, memory problems, fatigue, and lympedema due to my lymph node removal, among other things. I then went out of work again 11/30/14–present. The reason was surgery for reconstruction. I had terrible complications. My incisions busted wide open and wouldn’t heal. I had to go to the wound care center from 1/19/15–present, which included wearing a wound vac. I was put on an anti-depressant because I was extremely overwhelmed with everything. I have since had another surgery pertaining to reconstruction and am scheduled for yet another one 8/12/15. My case examiner called me in early June 2015 to ask me about my lymphedema. I’ve been to physical therapy for it twice, and would be more if I didn’t have surgery complications. I told her it was extremely painful and many times it’s difficult to reach, stretch, grasp, etc because of it. She was compassionate and said thats not unusual for someone with my conditions and she said I had “so much going on”. She then called back a few weeks later and asked about the anti-depressant. She said my doctor didn’t include it in his notes. I told her I take it because I basically can’t handle my life. She said that wasn’t unusual. She then said “everytime I go to close this case, something new comes up.” She then said she had to send me for a mental exam only because my doctor didn’t have the anti-depressant in his notes. She is always very kind and compassionate. My mental exam was last week 7/27/15. I cried and was a complete nervous wreck the whole time. I am now waiting on a decision. My question is should I read into any of her comments? I will be 48 next month. I have had the same job for the last 18 years, and I can’t imagine being physically or emotionally able to do it anymore. I am worried sick. I also have a torn meniscus, arthritis in my knee, hip and back, a 4cm growth on my liver that’s not cancer (praise God!) but possible early cirrhosis, uterine fibroids, high blood pressure, depression and anxiety. Do you think I have any hope of being approved? How long should it be before I get a decision? I am so worried over all of this. Thank you for all that you do Kay!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Brenda,

      I would think that there is a possibility of being approved. I would expect that you would get a decision in about six weeks after the exam because the doctor has up to three weeks to submit his or her report.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  40. Barb says:

    I am 60 years old, I work as a nursing assistant for 32 years. My job has me doing a lot of heavy lifting pulling pushing walking standing for a long time.
    I had an MRI and my neurosurgeon told me I had a very bad back. Then I’m not going to be able to do this job too much longer. I want I went to pain management and I had an epidural ones but it didn’t help at all. I also have joint disease and both of my shoulders where I had Cortizone shots since 2008 until 2013. I’m having surgery on my one shoulder because I tore a tendon and some particles of bone laying around. I had hiatal hernia surgery three times now the last one was last year at this time, they cut my two vagus nerves it went from my small intestines to my stomach so the food will go down better. After this surgery was done I have a A lot of nausea and pain in my stomach a lot of times water will come back up because it won’t go down all the way. I also have Barrett’s esophagus high blood pressure I had tetanus back in 1991 and I have a few other little things. I am going to apply for Social Security disability because I can’t seem to do my job too much anymore and I can’t even do normal house work without it bothering me a lot at least I could sit down every now and then. My question is do you think I have a chance for disability thank you Barb

  41. Pammi says:

    I have always worked I’m 34 yrs with four kids .it seems everytime I get a job I have quit because pain I can’t walk,stand ,sit,are lay down to long it’s very painful,i been seeing gi-specialist since 2011 back and fourth and different gynecologist,i can’t concentrate that long

  42. Pammi says:

    Hello Ms Kay
    I don’t know if it got sent,but I went and filed for benfits on 4-13-2015 and by 5-20-2015 the dds office received my info on 6-1-2015 the mailed me some forms to fill out about my disability,adls,and job history 5-15 years back so I faxed everything in the ask for on 6-5-2015.so I called them on 7-15-2015 to see how it was looking she said good and I should be receving a letter so I called back on 7-20-2015 he said that It looks ok again and they where waiting on My medical records, and I should know something by 9-17-2015. My PcP I been seeing from 2005 to 2013 sent me to have all kinds of test did the nurse practitioner knows that I’m disable but the doctor says I’m not during these years of me seeing this clinic I only seen the doctor 3 times I always seen the nurse practitioner the doctor was never there so he don’t know what I go through, so in 2013 I started seeing another pcp and another gi- Speaclist all my doctors know that I’m suffering and been suffering for many of years except that one.will dds send me to one of there doctors to prove that I’m disable.I suffer 28th really bad spasm in my stomach due to irritable bowl syndrome,i have really bad endometriosis,anxiety and paniac attacks,and I was born with small bowl malrotation.how long will this process take

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Pammi,

      I responded to your previous four posts under the name Tamaria. Please see that response. The estimate of September 17 given by the claims examiner seems about right because they are still trying to get medical records.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Pammi says:

        Lol ,Yea it’s pammi this funny phone just type what ever it wants that’s it why you got some many post from me I was try to correct my name and tell you my story.it sounded like she said September 17,2015 but it could have been September 7,2015.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Pammi,

          Based on your other post of just a little bit before this one, you will be getting a decision well before September.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  43. Tamaria says:

    I mean I just want to know how the case is going now since I last talk to them

  44. Tamaria says:

    And also I filed 4-13-2015 dds received my info on 5-20-2015 by june 1 dds mail me a packet to fill out about my disability and jobs in the last 15 years and my adls, I filled them out and faxed back the same day,so i called 07-20-2015 she said every thing look good and they should mail me a letter and I should know something by 9-17-2015 no letter received yet so I called back 7-27-2015 the guy at the dds office says that they just waiting on medical records ,what is going on know

  45. Tamaria says:

    Sorry about that I was trying to say the same gi Speaclist he sent me to and other Speaclist agree that I have some type of disability and my family doctor, but I would like to see there doctor before they go by that one doctor

  46. Tamaria says:

    Hello,ms Kay how are you

    I was wondering if a haven’t see one of my family doctors since5-2013 and start seeing a new one 6-2013 . I want my old family doctor to send my medical records to the dds office but he said he don’t think that I I’m disable when I been going there for a couple of years and only seen him 3 times the nurse practitioner there knows that I suffering and able but he don’t care and don’t know me , but my GiSpeaclist, and new family doctor I started seeing in 6-2013.so is up to that ,are will they send me to one of their Speaclist to verify that I I’m disable.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tamaria,

      This is in response to your four posts. I suggest that you again ask your previous doctor to send your records. Explain that you are not asking him to say that you are disabled, that Social Security will decide that, and that you just want Social Security to see the records. You may or may not be sent for a consultative examination. If there is enough information to make a decision without an exam, there will be no special exam.

      If you did not make a typographical error, you were told you would have a decision by September 7, 2015 (9-17-2015). If it was an error and you meant to type a 7 for July instead of a 9, the person you spoke to may have meant that everything looked fine on your work history statement and then when she got working on the claim she found that some needed records were missing. Of course, this is all conjecture on my part. For more information, you need to talk to the examiner again.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Pammi says:

        Thanks ms.Kay for responding to my questions,i apologize for the multiple questions I just got this phone and I couldn’t tell if the message was sent are not.sorry,
        Yes I spoke with dds again today and she said she finished it 7-30-2015 and sent it back to the field office so I called them at the field office she said that they finished it up and I should receive a letter in two to three weeks from now.so maybe it’s an approval what do you think.

  47. Bren says:

    Kay, I am in the reconsideration stage I checked the ss website and it says a decision has been made. .. then I checked “my ss account” and the verification letter used to say you are not receiving ss… now it says you are receiving ss disabilty…I have not received a letter in the mail it says next payment 0 with no date. .. it does however show a back pay amount… it also gives a dollar amount of regular monthly payment. .. it says nothing about my two minor children. .. Will they receive payment also? Will letters come for them separate from mine? also checked my bank account it says direct deposit from ss pending with no dollar amount…I am assuming I am approved? And what will I need to do for the minor children… they should have their information on the original application… Just wondering what you think?

  48. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay, I just want to say THANK YOU !! for all your help and knowledge. you been spot on with all your opinions and answers !!! You offer a great service for people going through this process. Everything you told me was right !! So I thank you again !!
    Jimmy

  49. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay,I received a letter from SSDi saying before they can make a decision about me receiving benefits for my kids I have to file an application. is this normal or what does this mean about my approval for my SSDI benefits ?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      Usually Social Security does not take applications for children until after the worker has been medically approved for benefits, so it is likely that you have been medically approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Chris says:

      Hello Kay I filed in April for disability after having emergency surgery for cauda equina syndrome I’m 54 year old man I worked in the motorcycle industry for over 20 years I can’t lift sit or stand for any length of time I called social security and I was told I am being sent to see a doctor I’m a bit nervous help

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Chris,

        When you see the doctor, just be honest; and if the doctor doesn’t ask about or examine something that is important, mention it.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Chris says:

          Kay just want to thank you for your advice along with the ce exam I got a report from my ortho pedic stating I was 100 percent disabled. After speaking with the young lady handling my case at the dds level I was to my case went for quality review.I had made a follow up call to social security the man told me the dds determined I was disabled and my case was under review well I hope for the best.

  50. Toshira says:

    Dear Kay
    I applied for ssdi in April 2015 for depression and anxiety. While on leave I started seeing a therapist 3x a week. In May I had to stop due to no insurance. I was sent to a mental health appt for ssdi. The Dr. asked me multiplication questions, when I got out of bed, when I showered, my ACT score, about my medication. He asked questions about what some metaphors meant. Asked about my debt..& education history. Told me about people applying for benefits bc the economy is bad. I told him getting a job isn’t the problem it’s my anxiety & depression (possibly bipolar) that impacts my ability to sustain the job due to my issues. I have incontinence problems when I’m nervous & around a lot of people, unfortunately even on the job. He was telling me about his brother receiving disability..But didn’t ask me about any of my symptoms. Told me I need higher doses of Xanax *on .5mg. Told him how I’ve had anxiety so bad I thought I was having heart attacks. Unfortunately, the Dr office I’ve went to has shut down all facilities. He told me you’re intelligent, I said yes but my intelligence doesn’t stop my depressed or anxiety. I’ve suffered from depression since 10 years old.. I’m now 40. I haven’t been able to keep employment bc of my conditions. I want to complain to SSA but I don’t want to mess up my chances bc In my opinion he wasn’t evaluating me…or he was but already determined that there was nothing wrong with me. Oh he also asked about family mental health issues, bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia is extremely prevalent in my family.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Toshira,

      If you have a question, please post again and ask the question. As far as the appointment goes, keep a record of what happened during the exam, such as you wrote on this site, to tell your attorney if you are denied and have to appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Toshira says:

        Kay
        Thank you for your reply. I apologize for not making my question clearer. Should I be concerned that that evaluation process was atypical? Or was that normal procedure? His opinions about why people apply for ssdi, and his brother’s disability approval seemed inappropriate, at least to me. Or am I being overly concerned? I will definitely keep notes of the evaluation. Thank you again for your assistance.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Toshira,

          My personal opinion is that the doctor’s comments were unprofessional. I don’t have enough data about enough evaluations to characterize anything other than the apparently unprofessional comments as atypical.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Toshira says:

            Dear Kay
            The rep from SSA contacted me today to obtain additional information about my last employer. I spoke with him briefly about my concerns regarding the questions asked. He said I’m looking at the exam and even though it may have not seemed like he was examining you he was very thorough regarding your illness. He also stated that psychiatric consultation always test thinking capacity etc..but said that they receive information regarding your medical history (other Dr notes maybe) prior to the evaluation to aid in the examination. He advised that they should be wrapping things up soon & that even though it was a bit untoward he did provide them with detailed notes. He was very careful not to advise whether or not I was approved or denied, however. Just that if he had further questions regarding my work history he would contact me. In your research or opinion is this type of followup normal? Does data ahow statistically that approval is eminent or is that the process for denial? I know all cases are different just wanted some idea. Thank you for your help.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Toshira,

            An examiner should follow up for whatever information is needed. It sounds as if your examiner is being very thorough, which is good. That said, I cannot predict whether your claim will be approved or denied.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Toshira says:

            Dear Kay:
            I contacted the main SSA number to check the status of my SSDI application. I was advised that they have sent my application back to my local SS office to verify & that I should receive a letter within 2 weeks. Typically, are denials sent back to local office? Or are denials automatically generated by DDS & forwarded to applicant. They advised a decision was rendered on 8/6/15, but could not tell me until after 2 weeks (main SSA line). Thanks.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Toshira,

            I believe that notifications are sent out by DDS. Denied claims are returned to the local office for the possibility of an appeal, but some medical approvals including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are also directed to the local office. So, you will not know whether you have been medically approved or denied until you receive the notification. If you have not received communication within two weeks, I suggest that you contact your local office.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Toshira says:

            Kay
            Thank you for your response. I tried calling the local field office, a rep said he couldn’t see what the decision was but only that one was reached on 8/6. He advised I should receive a letter soon either award letter or appeal. I advised him national ssa stated they should be able to provide me with a definitive answer..however he said not now. That it’s only been 5 days. My online benefits notification letter changed from “not currently receiving benefits” to only providing my DOB but my estimate benefits amount still says not available. Not really a question just providing anecdotal information for others in limbo. Will update with status once I receive notification, for others to review. Also, received a call from DDS on 8/5 advising all medical records were in & he asked about other conditions. Next day a decision was reached. Also, I originally applied online, never received notification from FO only contact came directly from DDS rep. Thanks again.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            You are welcome, Toshira.

  51. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay, My orthopedic surgeon is telling me to wait as long as I can to have surgery, when I cant deal with the pain anymore then have the surgery. Im to young. I spoke with other people that needed hip replacement. and they were told the same thing. Can you be force to have surgery. Plus with surgery anything can happen. Thank you !!!

  52. Dawn says:

    I filed for both on May 1 I have depression generalized anxiety disorder high blood pressure degenerative disc disease in lower back carpal tunnel in both hands had surgery on right hand back to normal after I fell and broke my right hand I have no strenght in my hand Dr also has me morbid obesity xrays show arthritis in my neck spine and Mri shows I have arthritis in both knees I’m on 9 meds I quit my job cause I can’t do the standing for 11 hrs a day or the heavy lifting my question instead of a denial letter I got a letter to see there Dr for mental also I have an attorney so how much farther do I have to go I have 2 boys and I can’t work so I’m starting to freak out. Is this like a 2 yr wait and I’m 44

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dawn,

      Be sure to attend the mental examination that was requested. It can take another couple months after the exam to get a decision. How long the total claim process continues depends on whether you are awarded benefits on the initial application or you have to appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  53. Al says:

    Hello,
    I wrnt to see the ssdi psychiatric Dr, for my depression, anxiety, Today I saw the ssdi Dr for my spinal stenosis, lumbar stenosis, degenerative disc disease, pain down my legs, and cramping in my shins, calves, and feet at night. Why didn’t the CE want to review my medical records, or my MRI? instead he performed his own analogy. I’m lost.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Al,

      The consultative examinations may have been requested because the records kept by your medical providers were not sufficiently clear or complete. If you want to make sure that testing done in the course of your medical care is considered, I suggest that you get copies of the records and test reports and submit them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  54. Zahra says:

    Dear Kay,
    I’m 58 years old and worked as a teacher until a few months ago when I fell and injured myself. As a result of the injuries I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel in my dominant hand/wrist and developed RSD/CRPS in my hand, back and both arms. I have had several injections and blocks which haven’t helped and have been taking several medications which cause me to feel drowsy and at times confused. I suffer from unrelenting burning pain which is worsened by showering, wind or the touch of a hand, and my hand/wrist are swollen and weak. I also have muscle spasms. Sleep is practically nonexistent. In addition, I have asthma and migraines which have worsened since all this, high blood pressure, Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism which has caused obesity, allergies to many medications including NSAIDs, a number of bulging/herniated discs in my spine, arthritis and need a knee replacement which I am no longer a candidate for due to the CRPS. Do you think I would qualify for SSD? If so, do I focus on one of these conditions or all of them? As for the RSD/CRPS, do I include literature about this condition since it’s rare and most people, even some doctors, don’t know what it is? Thanks in advance.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Zahra,

      It is possible that you might qualify for benefits based on all the conditions combined. List the condition that caused you to stop work first. For all the other conditions, list the symptoms associated with them and how they limit you if they do. Mention the medication side effects. Relate your limitations to the demands of your teaching occupation. If you are denied, hire a Social Security attorney to assist with your appeal. You can reach a knowledgeable Social Security attorney by completing the online form on this page to request a free Benefits Evaluation from Disability Advisor. When you hire a Social Security attorney, 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 the retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free. It won’t hurt to include literature, though your claim will not be accepted based on literature. A letter from your treating physician about your pain being credible might be of more help.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  55. richard says:

    Dear Kay, I am 50 and have HIV for over 20 yrs. , plaque psoriasis for 7 yrs. and had tongue cancer 2yrs. ago that required partial removal of top portion of tongue and removing a portion of my wrist muscles, tendons and veins to rebuild tongue as well as surgical removal of lymph nodes in neck which left my neck and wrist to have weakness and pain when try to do any work. I have a GED education and last employment for the last 16 yrs. has been physical labor which I tried to go back to work after cancer surgery healed but still could not perform my duties at work so I had to take early retirement do to fatigue and other side effects from HIV meds., limited use/movement of wrist/neck and pain from surgery, pain on skin areas as well as joints affected by psoriasis. I was rejected the first time and now have a hearing with a Judge in Oct. and just received a letter from SS for a physical exam. Kay, What are my chances of getting approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Richard,

      It seems as if you may have a good case. If you do not have an attorney to help you with the hearing, it might be wise to hire one. You can reach a knowledgeable Social Security attorney by completing the online form on this page to request a free Benefits Evaluation from Disability Advisor. When you hire a Social Security attorney, 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 the retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  56. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay, Here is a summary of everything. I was hurt on the job and now out on comp, I need a THR and torn labrum in my left hip, I’ve been seeing my comp doctor every month for over a year the last 7 months been out of work due to the fact I have a hard time walking and bending and sitting for any period of time I have MRI report showing my problems both my doctor and comp doctor agrees I need a hip replacement. I filed for ssdi. I had all my c4 reports for over a year. I cant even put on my socks or shoes,I am a HVAC mechanic and do a lot of work in ceilings crawling bending in tight spaces, and up and down ladders. carry equipment and tools.I also have a lower back problem but not a lot of documents on it, Had to go to a CE exam for that also Have Tinnitus ringing in my ears not to much documentation on that just my ENT visit confirming it also had a CE exam for that. They requested my doctors notes for my hip which was sent 70 pages. now waiting for an answer…. and what do you think about approval, I am 51 and been at the same job for 28 years and only have a 9th grade education. Thank you for your help!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      There is a good possibility that you will be approved due to the combination of your work history, your age, and your educational level. The approval may schedule a future continuing disability review date if there is an expectation that you will be able to return to your occupation after you recover from your surgery.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  57. Chri says:

    I appiled for benefits I have lupus chf auto amine diseases high hyperthyroid and other medical problems and been shot also the sent me to medical exam intro wat are the changes receiving award letter

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Chri,

      Whether or not you are awarded benefits will depend on how severely your multiple medical conditions limit your ability to work and how well you are able to prove the severity. If you are denied, I recommend you request a copy of your claim file to see the exact reasons for the denial and that you hire a Social Security attorney to help with the appeal. You can reach a knowledgeable Social Security attorney by completing the online form on this page to request a free Benefits Evaluation from Disability Advisor. When you hire a Social Security attorney, 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 the retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  58. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay, Consultative Exams – These are medical exams ordered and paid for by the insurance company or Social Security. There’s a widespread belief that these exams are done primarily to document a denial is this true? I had to go see a CE doctor for my back and hearing loss, ringing in my ears Tinnitus. they did request my doctors notes for my hip which was about 70 pages long which I have been seeing my orthopedic surgeon for over a year with my hip problem. No CE request for my hip yet? with all the prior information I gave you is this good or bad. Thanks again for your help in this stressful time going through this process !!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      I would say that probably the medical information regarding your hip was clear but not sufficient to approve you medically, but the examiner thinks that maybe all of your conditions together might disable you; therefore, you were sent for exams to clarify your back and hearing conditions.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • tracie says:

        Hi Kay, I applied for ssd and ssi on Feb 17th 2015 for severe neck/back/bone problems, when I filled out paperwork I had to explain my medications for menopause associated “brain fog”, exacerbation of add and short term memory problems as well as meds given in 2014 for work enduced stress related anxiety. I have numerous dx related to neck including disloation, ddd, anomaly of foramen magnum, herniation of cerebellar tonsils, herniated and bulging disk, spondylosis, cervical pinched nerves, numbness and loss of use of fingers on both hands, left upper arm/shoulder, have cord deviated at T11-12 with spurs/hemangioma/loss of ht/of thoracic and lumbar spine, severe kyphosis and hump, soliosis, osteoporosis since age 28 in spine and left hip-continuous treatment, test for back, neck and hip for 11 years-suffered neck injury in July 2014 which left me with severe neck pain, move my whole upper body rather than turn head, constantly drop things, fingers don’t work for 1st half of day and intermittent severe headaches and skull pain at the bottom-today I was sent for a “mental exam” and it took 1 hour 20 mins-had memory test, mental status exam and the examiner was very kind and nice, even suggested I see my doc for executive function and organization help and rule out the early onset of dementia…….what does this all mean or have to do with my neck? The state vocational rehab person excused me from some clini to assess what other types of work I can do due to her opinion being that I was unable to do any type of work……….any information in this very confusing process would be greatly appreciated. Have a blessed week, Tracie

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Tracie,

          If you have not submitted the records from the state vocational rehabilitation assessment, you should do so right away. I can’t say for sure why the mental exam was ordered. It could be that the evidence in the claim file does not support disability due to your physical conditions or it could be that your claim is being approved and, because you reported mental issues, you were sent for a cognitive exam to see whether you are capable of managing your benefits or need a representative payee.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Michelle says:

        Hi Kay,
        I have sent in all my son medical records for his disability. He has an iep, has adhd bipolar, and borderline schizophrenia; but they still sent him to a consultative exam. Why? Im lost…my dds examiner said his medical paperwork from his previous doctor has a nurse practitioner signature instead of a doctor signature. He has been hospitalized and everything. They got info from his school. Are they silently trying to deny his case. And his doctor appt is July 25…pass a 120 days. Please help, and thank you in advance for your advice.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Michelle,

          If your son had a physician, not a nurse practitioner, you might see if the physician will sign off on the paperwork that was signed by the nurse practitioner; that might eliminate the need for a consultative examination.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Pam says:

      I have severe copd,chronic pain,anxiety and depression, degenerative disc disease, renal blockage,arthritis,high blood pressure my first initial application was denied but not much medical evidence was sent so I did appeal and apply for reconsideration and took it upon my self to get alot of medical evidence which included mri results xrays spirometer testing a letter from my doctor with all my diagnosis and treatment and he also stated I was unable to work the doctor they sent me to on first initial application confirmed anxiety and depression but within 2 weeks of applying for reconsideration they sent me a letter along with a form authorization to disclose information why would I get that when I sent in all medical evidence and why so fast(within 2 weeks)is this a bad sign

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Pam,

        Every claim and appeal requires that you sign an authorization for Social Security to obtain information. It is routine. That said, it is possible that the Administration wants to contact one of your doctors for clarification or expanded information.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  59. Trena says:

    Hi, I have a 7 year old son who was recently diagnosed with Intermittent Explosive Disorder as well as Specific Learning Disability in reading and Specific Learning Disability in writing. He does struggle daily with school. He is violent at home with his siblings and with myself and his dad. My question is should we apply for benefits or is it a waste of time? He was seeing a behavior specialist weekly for 4 months and she graduated so we are looking for another now. He was in preschool for 2 years, and Kindergarten for 2 years and is barely at a kindergarten level for reading and writing. Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Trena,

      Your child might qualify medically for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. He will also have to qualify financially by his family having income and assets below SSI limits. You can file for SSI at a Social Security office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  60. renee says:

    Thanks Kay, as of today no monies have been released. The note still says ssi payment pending. ( Feb 2015). Does that mean I’m approved for ssi and not ssdi? I applied for ssdi , ssi was suggested by my as case manager. Confused

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Renee,

      You could be approved for both if you did not receive a Social Security Disability (SSDI) denial letter. SSI is paid first. Then Social Security is paid, reduced by the amount of SSI paid for the same months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  61. Marie says:

    Hi Kay,
    I forgot to put that I applied for ssdi on 4/16/15 and I called the local ss office today and the lady I talked with said I was deinded. Said I was listed in the blue book..She did not sound so sure. I have read through your post and it is very informative. Any in put from you will be greatly appericated. I applied on my own.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Marie,

      Please see my response to your prior posting. For you to qualify based on a condition listed in the Blue Book, you must have the condition and the clinical or test findings listed along with the diagnosis. If you do, in fact, have the severity indicated by the required findings, that will be a good basis for appeal. You might also show the Blue Book to your physician and have the physician write a letter confirming your condition matches the Blue Book description.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  62. Marie says:

    Hi Kay,
    I stopped working 3/3/15. I am 54 years old have worked for the last 39 years nonstop. March 2013 I was diagnois with right breast cancer and june 2013 underwent a central partial mastectomy with sentinel lymph node for invasive carcinoma. I completed chemo 09/18/13 with the first treatment sending me to the hospital for 5 days neutropenia, colitis. I completed radaiton 11/18/13. I developed neuropathy of the hands and feets and have fine motor involvement in my hands also developed disc disease in my back..I went to physical therapy and also had epidural injections. I take gabapentin 300mg 3x daily and Norco, ipburfeon and a inhaler daily. I also have numberous chronic reactive airway disease, generalized osteoarthritis. I can not walk, stand, bend, twist, reach ect without being in unbearable pain. Oncology, breast surgreon and medical doctor says I have become functionall disabled. for over 15 years I have worked in a mortgage loan center. 10 years I did bank teller and cashier jobs. I called the ss office in florida today and the lady told me I was deined because I did not meet the rule. So what do I do now. I know I can not do any of my previous jobs….Please help me.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Marie,

      When you get the denial letter, get an attorney and appeal. It could also be helpful to request a copy of your claim file so you can see the exact reasons your claim was denied. You can reach a Social Security attorney by completing the Free Benefit Evaluation form on the website and by clicking on the red “free evaluation” button. 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 the retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free. Note that if you don’t receive the letter within two weeks, request a duplicate letter. (You have sixty days from the date of the letter to appeal.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • marie says:

        Hi kay, thank for your response. I did get a attorney. And they file a appeal for reconsideration on June 16th 2015. I also try to get a copy if my file from ss but they told me to get I t from my attorney. The denial letter they sent me stated they realize I may longer be capable of heavy work and that I need treatment f or my condition but I was capable if performing my past work. I move to Florida from ohio in march 2015. And now have no health insurance and have going to a free health clinic, they have been giving me my medications that my doctors from ohio prescribed, but have not physically examined me, or sent me to a onglogist for follow up. so all my medical records was from ohio and the last time I saw them was February 2015..today Sept 16, 2015 disability called me to say they were scheduling me to go see their doctor. Is this because they need more recent medical review, or do they just want to close my case to denie me? My attorney told me I have a very strong case…I am so confuse. What can I expect from their doctor why questions are they going to ask since they have never seen me? Any advise will be greatly appreciated. .thank you.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Marie,

          You are probably being asked to see a physician to provide more current medical documentation. I can’t predict what the examination will consist of. I suggest that you visit http://www.healthcare.gov to see whether you can get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  63. renee says:

    Hi Kay, I’m Renee, I’m 60 yrs. old I have crohns, diabetic, high blood pressure bi polar and anxiety. I applied Feb 12, 2015. I went to CE mental appt on 6/4/15. I checked SSA status and no decision has been made. I’ve worked since age 16. Applied for SSSI, SSA casemanger said my income was low and applied for ssi also. My disability onset date is 1/4/13. What’s next for me?

    • renee says:

      Renee again, I meant ssdi ( not SSSI) also, my application date was 12/12/14. My first contact from SSA was Feb 2015. Okay I think that s it. Nervous about process, one more thing low income because I only worked part time for 10 yrs because of crohns.

      • renee says:

        Hi Kay, I just checked my bank balance and there is a note stating ssi payment pending. Dated Feb 2015, what do that mean? Thanks, Renee

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Renee,

          It means that your bank received an SSI payment and it will be available for your use after an overnight computer run on the night of the next business day after it was shown as pending.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Renee,

        Please see my response to your previous post.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Renee,

      You need to wait for a decision. If you are denied, I suggest that you request a copy of your claim file so that you can review the decision memo and the exact reasons for the denial. If you disagree, file and appeal with legal assistance. You can obtain a knowledgeable Social Security attorney by completing the online form on this page to request a free Benefits Evaluation from Disability Advisor. 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 the retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  64. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay do you have to use canes in order to be approved for SSDI if you have osteoarthritis in the hip and you need a total hip replacement even thought you cant do your job ? I know in the SSDI blue book you must use walking aids. but you have medical records supporting your disability. Thank you !!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      The Blue Book contains a list of medical conditions and signs of severity that allow approval for benefits without evaluation of your past work history. It is possible to be approved for Social Security Disability even if you do not meet the criteria in the Blue Book. More information about the five-step disability evaluation process can be found in the article “How Does the Social Security Administration Apply Social Security Disability Laws to Determine If I Am Disabled?” under the Claim Process tab on the top navigation bar of this website.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  65. V. L. says:

    Thank you so much Kay.

  66. V. L. says:

    Hi Kay, i filed a new claim on march 16, 2015 after being denied 5 times, ssd sent me to their mental doc ion may 4, I called them today and they said it was still pending, they said my case was closed on may 20th. and I will be getting an approval letter. Do you think that, i would be approved or denied.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear V.L.,

      If you were told you would get an approval letter, your claim has been approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  67. ARTY says:

    Hello,
    First of all, I am considered 100% disabled per VA. I suffer from PTSD, RA, and some knee pain. I originally applied for SSDI in 2013, hired a lawyer and got denied after appealing the SS judge’s decision. In March of 2015 staying within the time frame I reapplied and now I am at the determining decision stage. I recently got a letter from SS stating they need “a special medical examination”. What does this mean?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Arty,

      You are being asked to attend a consultative examination so that Social Security can gather more information about your condition(s). It is important that you attend the exam; if you do not, your claim may be denied.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  68. Jon says:

    I am a 80% service connected veterern for Bipolar,GERD, and chronic ankle sprain. I submitted my military medical records along with my VA documents of when ive seen my PCD And my pill doc. I also submitted my letter of 80% approval from the va which lists their reasonings for the decision. Also my mom wrote a letter stating the same thingI am unable to work more than 5 hours per week due to my bipolar/anxiety which it clearly states in my medical records. I throw up 3X per week due to the GERD/anxiety which also states in my record. I Applied for SSD 3 months ago and spoke with my case examiner today he said my claim is in the last stage just waiting to be signed off by the SSD Doctor. Is there any info you could give me on wether or not you think ill be approved or denied? I feel i have sufficient evidence to be approved but i dont want to assume. Also when they make a determination how long does it take to get the approval/denial letter in the mail? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jon,

      Social Security and Veterans disability laws are different. Eligibility for one does not necessarily mean eligibility for the other. I cannot predict whether you will be approved or denied. After the decision is finalized, you should receive a letter within about ten days.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  69. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay
    when you go see the SSDI doctor’s, are they impartial ?? do they care one way or another ?? because the examine is not that detailed. and they only see you for 15 or 20 minutes which is not enough time to do a detailed examine.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      The physicians who do consultative examinations are intended to be impartial. Usually, they are instructed to evaluate and answer questions about some specific condition, not all your conditions. However, when at a consultative exam, if you think issues are not being addressed, you should bring them up at that time.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  70. Gina says:

    Filed for SSI benefits since November 2014, been out of work for disability retirement seen August 2013 due severe back pain, atheritis in the arms legs , back and shoulder,
    degenerative joint disease and shown MRI. When I applied forSSI benefits, I was told they would obtain my medical record directly from my doctor and I should not send. My pain doctor said he was not contacted, my primary doctor forwarded completed medical information as requested but did not attach test result, now SSA is referring me to their doctor for physical exam due to insufficient medical information this will be on June 2015 after 7 months has elapsed, very frustrating long process, my small disability retirement cannot help with medical bills and treatment
    I was asked to bring all my medication to the
    exam. Do you think I should also forward my MRI test result? O have a strong feeling they did not receive it hence the are sending me to their CE.

    • Gina says:

      I am 57yesrs old and worked in same kon for over 16year before my disability retirement on 2013

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Gina,

      Yes, you should send your MRI and your pain management doctor’s records as well. I suggest that you also get a list of what the claims examiner has in case something else is also missing. Let the examiner know you will be submitting the records and want them considered.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  71. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay,
    They just requested my records for my Hip, which is like 70 pages long. I’m hoping everything I told you before that I get approved !! Thanks again !!!

  72. melissa reed says:

    My question is my husband went to the medical doctor requested by ssd
    and at the end of his exam the doctor wanted xrays of his hand and his neck, when the doctor came back into the exam room he told my husband that ssd denied the xrays, saying they had enough information on the claim already. Does that sound good or bad for his case? or anybody reading this have any input please reply thank you…..

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melissa,

      The only explanation I can think of is that right about the time of the exam date the claims examiner received additional information that was sufficient to make a decision and didn’t get to cancelling the exam in time. That could, but does not necessarily, mean that your husband’s claim is being approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  73. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay, I agree with Dave. I went to see SSDI doctor yesterday for my back. I put down on the paper about my hip (THR) and shoulder, did almost the same test as Dave. she asked me to touch my toes and I told her I cant, she asked me to squat and I told her I cant. I told her I cant put on my own shoes and socks. now I’m worried what she might put down on paper. she also, what I thought was going to hit me in my knees with the little hammer instead she touch my knees where my legs didn’t even move ! and took an xray of my back which cant really show much. When I left I was like what kind of test was that!! now I don’t know after seeing what Dave said.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      You will just have to wait to see the outcome of your claim. If you are denied and want to appeal, you can request a copy of your claim file, which will have a copy of the consultative examination report in it. If you appeal, it could help to have an attorney present your case. 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 the retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  74. Kate says:

    I am a 61 yr. old with severe carpal tunnel in both hands as well as severe basal joint arthritis both hands. I have had surgery on both hands for the carpal tunnel as it was causing my arms to go numb as well as my hands. The basal joint arthritis causes severe pain in my hands and wrists as well as swelling and weakness. In the last year it has become impossible to perform everyday tasks such as opening a door, typing or any other functions that call for the use of fine motor coordination. I also have a history of severe panic/anxiety disorders for which I have been and currently under the care of a doctor. The orthopedic doctor almost threw me out of his office when I said I was filing for my social security early and he stated he would NOT support any claim in any way towards my claim. However, my medical records will support what I have stated on my claim as I have had surgeries, x-rays, nerve conduction tests, etc., prior to the surgeries. I am using a disability company who filed my claim in February and I have completed in a timely manner all paperwork requested by the DDS. Today, I received a letter from the Senior Claims Adjudicator of DDS, stating the SSA was requesting a CE prior to a decision being made with regards to my claim. The doctor is a general physician not an orthopedic doctor. I will go for the CE but what is the best way to prepare when I don’t know exactly what the purpose of the exam is? Also, based on your experience does this indicate that the CE is just to deny my claim and close the file or, hopefully, possibly an approval. Any advice or insight is greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kate,

      First of all, consult with the company that is representing your about your questions and about the suggestions I offer; then follow their advice.

      You describe conflicting evidence in your records–tests and surgical reports that show significant conditions and your doctor’s opinion that you are not disabled. The exam is likely to get more clarity about your condition. Tell the truth at the exam. I suggest that, even if the exam doesn’t focus on your hands, you tell the doctor that the primary reason you can’t work is your inability to perform manual tasks and describe things you can’t do or can do for only a short period of time.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  75. Dave says:

    Dear Kay,

    I wrote in on May 13, 2015. I was not expecting a response from you since I really didn’t have a question. I was just frustrated by the way the SSI department made so many things appear one sided in their favor when they shouldn’t have and was looking to get some of it off my chest.
    I thank you though for taking your time to give me advice when I was not expecting anyone to help. This FCE test………is that the test that SSI sent me to? The independent doctor?

    If so, I didn’t realize that I had the option of asking for one myself and paying someone for it. I assume that you don’t ask permission from them to do this test?
    You just do it before you file and have the results ready to submit when you do file. Is that correct?

    Aside from that, I’m a little confused about refiling. You stated that I can only refile for the same things as last time if there were records that were not admitted then. All records were admitted, just not the important facts of how long I can stand or walk or sit.
    You can’t convince them what level of pain you have. Secretly you wish the deciding judge could feel it for a day then he might be more agreeable to your case.
    I could rule that YOU might have a killer headache but I don’t, and i don’t feel your pain………I’m gonna go watch tv. NEXT!

    I tried to rationalize with them at the hearing. I asked how can I work my old job as you have just stated when my job involves standing for over 8 hours every day.
    Didn’t matter how much that made sense. They just looked at me as if to say……
    Nah! Next please………….

    Daily activities take me three times the amount of time neededfor someone without my condition. I guess they saw this as acceptable.
    I Agree, it IS acceptable. For chores around the house and such.

    But not for work!

    Who will let me have 10 min breaks everytime I reach my pain limit?
    I don’t have a way to make a living.
    They wouldn’t budge. In one ear and out the other.

    I didn’t say this out loud to the judge but I did think this during the hearing. “Why don’t you give me the benefits that SSI approved for the one guy that is scamming and cheating the system. Why can’t I have HIS instead.

    I understand they need to make sure they don’t hand out money unwisely but I really think that fraud is one of the reasons they are reluctant to just dish out funds.
    If my claim had happened 20 years ago, I might have been approved.

    Now, I’m just nervous about my selection to Jury duty yesterday. I asked to be dismissed but was denied. Now I have to hope I’m not chosen.

    Not only can I not stand in place and wait in line, I won’t be able to be sitting for hours at a trial. I’m screwed for that now. I can’t help thinking that someone’s guilt or innocence would be in question because I can’t concentrate on anything but how to stop my pain.

    I will look into the FCE test . Maybe I can borrow the money. Even though it’s one appointment, it’s not something I can afford as I have been in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy since July of 2013.

    You know, as bad as things are for me…….there’s no way to go but up.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dave,

      I doubt that the independent examination you went to was a functional capacities evaluation (FCE), which can be several hours long. You are asked to perform certain movements and activities to see how much you can tolerate. You do not have to request permission from the Social Security Administration to get an FCE examine or to submit it with your appeal.

      As far as jury duty goes, if you are questioned by an attorney or the judge about anything, you can answer the question and add that you are, however, concerned about being able to pay good attention because you have high pain levels after sitting x length of time.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  76. Dave says:

    I applied for SSI in 2010. I have been turned down 3 times, even with the help of attorneys. The doctor they send you to for an “independent” appointment is a waste of time and useless. I have degenerative discs in my back that give me severe cramping from my waste to my ankles in both legs. My pain will reach it’s highest level with only 10 min of standing still in one spot, 20 minutes of walking or 45 minutes of sitting at a 90 degree angle.

    Nothing can relieve the pain except for lying prone for about 10 min. Then I’m good to go again for those short times. What employer would hire someone that needed to do that during the work day?

    My independent doctor completely ignored any tests that had to do with my complaint. Instead, he performed this test:
    He had me sit down on the table with my legs hanging over. I was asked to extend my arms. He put his hands on top of mine and asked me to push up while he pushed down. Then I was to push down on his hands that were pushing up from underneath.
    Similar to my arms test, he held me by my ankles and told me to move my legs forward and backwards with him providing resistance. After the test, I was excused to go home.

    The finding listed on my claim denial from the APPEAL COUNCIL: independent doctor has determined that you have full range in all limbs and with movement and we have determined that you are not disabled and are able to perform the same job that you did before you stopped working .

    Can you imagine if your complaint was that you couldn’t turn your neck at all and he did the same test?
    It had nothing to do with the symptoms I was experiencing in my legs from the slipped disc and never were that issue discussed. It’s as if he was just going through the motions to turn in his report so he could collect his fee from SSI.

    Do you know what else is bad? Watch what you admit or say to a physician. It may end up misinterpreted or misunderstood and put in writing , which will be turned in to the SSI judges. I told my doctor that because I was permanently laid off in 2007, I couldn’t t pay for the 2 surgeries that I needed that might make me better. Even though I have insurance through my wife’s job, the total cost on my end for both will be almost $2,000. What was in the letter to me from the APPEALS COUNCIL that helped determine my denial for benefits?
    “The claimant claims he has medical insurance but yet he REFUSES to have the surgeries.”

    I NEVER said that. He decided on his own to word it like that. Thanks for nothing.
    Two doctors may have joined together to get my claim denied. I was doomed from the start and didn’t even know it.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dave,

      You can apply again claiming a later date of disability but one before you were last insured. The new claim would only be viable if have some medical records from back then that were not originally submitted. If your family’s income and assets are low enough for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you only have to prove you are disabled now. Is it possible to scrape together the money for a functional capacities evaluation (FCE) at your own expense or arrange to pay for it on time? An FCE is usually done by a physiatrist (MD specialist) or an occupational health center. Ask that the FCE be thorough enough to evaluate how long you can stand, walk, sit, explaining that your severe symptoms show up after the time frames you mentined. (There is no requirement to have a surgical procedure. Probably the Appeals Council took not getting the surgery as a sign your condition wasn’t “that bad.”)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  77. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay,
    I also received notice to make an appointment for a hearing test due to the fact of hearing loss and constant ringing in my ears why not see a doctor about my hip ??? unless that is coming. Thank you once again !!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      If the information from the hearing test is enough to approve your claim, you will not be sent for a consultative examination for your hip. Similarly, if your claim file has enough information about your hip to make the limitations from it clear, you will not be sent for an exam of your hip.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  78. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay,
    I also received a letter from SSA a fee petition letter or a fee agreement letter I guess incase I receive SSDI how much fee’s can be charged.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      The usual amount is 25% of back pay or $6,000 per benefit, whichever is lower. However, an attorney can petition for a higher amount explaining why it should be higher. It is up to Social Security to decide whether higher amount will be approved. You do not say what the letter says, but if you do not understand it, I suggest that you go to the Social Security Administration and have the letter explained to you. If you disagree with anything, ask what your rights are.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  79. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay,
    or is that something everyone receives ?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      Anyone who has appointed a representative could receive an SSA-1695 to complete.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  80. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay
    I just received a letter from SSA telling me they processed the form SSA-1695 identifying information for possible direct payment of authorized fees for me. does that mean anything??

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      The SSA-1695 is a form agreeing to have representative fees paid directly to your representative if your claim is approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  81. Johnny says:

    Hi Kaye,

    I have applied for SSI disability. My sister has been assisting me with my mortgage and other household expenses since I am unable to work but has already indicated that she simply cannot afford to continue. She has also told me that she wants the money paid back as soon as I am able to do so. My question is if I am approved for benefits how does SSI view my sister’s help and will they reduce the amount of any back pay that I may be eligible for? Will they use my back pay to pay my sister back directly? Can you please explain to me how SSI views a family member helping me meet my household expenses. Also, I had posted a question to you regarding the two CE appointments that SSA had requested , but I could not find the post containing my question or your reply. Can you tell me where to find this? Thank you. Johnny

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Johnny,

      Any money your sister has given you to cover expenses is income. Any mortgage, utilities, or food she bought for you directly is in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance and counts as income; however the maximum charged per month for in-kind support and maintenance is $264 regardless of the actual amount.

      There is an exception to these rules, which is that the monetary help money received is a bonafide loan, it is not counted as income. If you are really obliged to repay your sister, she can write a statement that all the assistance she has given you was a loan to be repaid when you received disability benefits. You can then submit the statement and the itemization of what you owe, which presumably sister has kept, to the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSA will not pay your sister directly, but they may require proof that you have repaid her once you get your back pay. If the back pay is not enough to repay her entirely, you may have to set up a monthly payment plan with her for the balance and continue to provide proof of ongoing repayment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  82. Johnny says:

    Hi Kay,

    Thank you for your advice concerning my previous message. I believe I stated in that same message that I was scheduled to go to two CE appointments, one for vision and the other is for a Psychological evaluation. Well, I just completed my vision exam and the optometrist told me that my peripheral vision (visual field loss) was severe enough to qualify under SSA section 2.00 Special Senses and Speech, 2.03 Contraction of the visual field in the better eye with a visual field efficiency of 20 percent or less, determined by kinetic perimetry. Given that this is the case, is it realistic to assume that since one of my conditions has already met a listing that there would be no further need for additional CE exams and that my Psychological evaluation would be cancelled? I would greatly appreciate your thoughts concerning this matter. Thank you. Johnny

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Johnny,

      I responded to you on April 17 under the question, “When applying for disability benefits will I have to see a Social Security doctor?”

      If you posted other later inquiries, I do not see them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  83. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay, I was a HVAC mechanic and do a lot of work in ceilings crawling bending in tight spaces, and up and down ladders. carry equipment and tools. and thank you so much for your service !! you help a lot of people here !!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      With that work background and the other information you provided, I would think you would be approved. If you are not, you should appeal with the help of an attorney. 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 the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  84. renee says:

    dear kay..i am already getting disability for mental disorders..my question is..i am no longer seeing the psychiatrist i was seeing, now i cant find another one, it’s very difficult i have found out..can you see a medical doctor who knows your issues and has prescribed my meds. before and recently for mental disorders instead of a psychiatrist, without an issue with the ssa?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Renee,

      Social Security prefers treatment by an appropriate specialist, especially in mental health claims. If you decide to get your treatment from a general practitioner, it would be a good idea to also see a therapist for counseling to accompany the medication treatment. If your claim is reviewed to investigate whether you continue to be disabled, be sure to explain why you are not seeing a psychiatrist.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  85. jimmy says:

    I have Osteoarthritis in the left hip. and my orthopedic surgeon said I will no longer be able to do my job.

  86. jimmy says:

    same job for 28 years sorry

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      See my response of a moment ago. With twenty-eight years of work in the same occupation, you are likely to be approved if it is expected that you will not be able to return to that occupation within twelve months of stopping. Be sure that Social Security knows that you are receiving workers comp so that your benefits can be calculated correctly if you are approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  87. jimmy says:

    Hi Kay,
    I was hurt on the job and now out on comp, I need a THR and torn labrum in my left hip, I’ve been seeing my comp doctor every month for over a year the last 4 months been out of work due to the fact I have a hard time walking and bending and sitting for any period of time I have MRI reports showing my problems both my doctor and comp doctor agrees I need a hip replacement. I filed for ssdi and now have to see there doctor. I had all my c4 reports for over a year. I cant even put on my socks or shoes, why do I still have to see there doctor and what do you think about approval, I am 50 and been at the same job for 12 years and only have a 9th grade education. Thank you for your help !

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      Your claim may be approved if you can’t do the job in which you got hurt (you do not say what it was) and have not done other lighter work in the past that is within your capabilities. I don’t know why you are being asked to see a doctor. I suggest that you call the claims examiner to be sure that he or she has all the medical records you think should be in your claim file. Have a list of docs, date ranges, and tests and dates ready so you can ask whether those specific records have been received.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  88. sharon says:

    Thank you Kay for your response I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be good news and the letter will come soon….

  89. debbie says:

    Hi my husband went on sdi in march of 2014 for his back after maNY procedures and tests he had surgery on March of 2015 by this time the sdi ran out. He applied for ssdi in Jan of 2015 and received a packet asking about his detailed work history and we have not heard anything since. They did tell him they have til the end of may which is in a month to make a decision. When I check the online site it just says it’s in the medical portion. He has never been asked to go to ss doctor. Is this a good or bad sign?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Debbie,

      Decisions on new claims are running two to five months. If your husband’s medical records contain enough information to make a decision one way or the other, he will not be sent to a consultative examination. You can call the Disability Determination Services (DDS) of your state, which is contracted to make Social Security’s disability decisions and ask whether there is anything they are waiting for that you could help get.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  90. sharon says:

    Hi Kay
    I applied for my benefits January 2014 i got a letter from my adj in april of 2014 stating that they had not received my medical info from my DR i called Dr office and gave message called adj back and left message for him he called me back to inform me that he did receive medical info and i do not have to see one of there Dr. and i should receive a letter in three weeks regarding a decision is this a good thing?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sharon,

      It is good that you are moving toward getting a decision; it is not possible to know whether your claim will be approved or denied.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  91. thenita says:

    I have ms. Just been recently dignosed last November. I have being having. Some problems. I’m am 38yrs ole. I signed. I also have diabetes. I seen one of there doc and now they want. Me to see another I’m I to young to get ssd. Will I be denied

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Thenita,

      If you are unable to work for at least twelve months in any occupation that you could perform if you did not have medical limitations, your claim will be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  92. Johnny says:

    Hi Kay,

    I have severe Trigemina Neuralgia (suicide disease), degenerative joint disease in both knees, chronic pain and depression and permanent numbness in my ankle and foot due a nerve injury resulting from surgery. I had originally applied for SSI on 11/2013 due to Trigeminal Neuralga but was assured by my neurologist that CyberKnife brain radiation would relieve pain so I dropped my disability case. Brain radiation was not successful and now I have horrific migraines and vision problems in addition to the previous problems. In 2013, the doctor who performed the leg surgery (who also caused the nerve injury) filled out a request to be relieved of jury service for me stating that I had pain and numbness in my ankle and foot which would likely be permanent due to the amount of time that had already passed since my surgery. I had also asked this same doctor to fill out an RFC form and I think he was afraid of a lawsuit so he stated that I was able to do everything 100%. Well, I filed a new SSI claim on 2/2/2015 and since I included the right ankle/foot pain and numbness as one of my problems, I felt I also had to include the RFC report along with all of the other medical records as I assumed that the examiner would probably discover it anyway. My question is simply how much weight do you feel that the examiner will put on this one doctor’s RFC form from 2013? The nerve injury is stated on the RFC, so do you think the examiner may realize what the doctor was afraid of? …or am I simply reaching here? Should I attempt to discount it some how? I must also add that I did not have any recent additional RFC’s from any other doctors. My neurologist stated she did not complete RFC reports but that I could certainly use all of her file notes and my PCP also stated that he does not prepare RFC reports. How much does this hurt me and is there some way to discount the doctor’s damaging RFC report? I am currently on state insurance and do not have the luxury of changing doctors. Also, I received two letters from SSI for a vision test and also for a Psychological evaluation…but no physical evaluation. Does this sound as though they may have discounted all of my physical disabilities due to the RFC report from 2013? Kindly advise. Thank you. Johnny.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Johnny,

      It seems advisable to address the RFC with a written statement. If the RFC of 2013 was done without a thorough examination by the doctor who completed it, you could state that. You could also make the statement that you suspect the doctor was worried about being sued for malpractice when he completed the RFC because the same year he had written a letter excusing you from jury duty due to severe pain and the two statements are conflicting.

      If you are denied, request from Social Security a complete copy of your claim file and appeal with the help of an experienced Social Security attorney. 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 the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  93. Norman says:

    just one other thing Kay, I had a bad RFC because I did not ask to be assessed.could this be seriously detrimental, because it sounds horrible to me. but I explained I didn’t ask for an assessment and it was my fault for not doing so. I should have. I just get so confused sometimes. thank you for your feedback Kay. it is really appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Norman,

      I’m not sure what impact the RFC and your explanation to the judge will have on the decision. If you are denied and continue to appeal, I suggest that you get attorney representation to help you with the appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  94. Norman says:

    Kay, unfortunately, part way through the questions regarding my physical impairments I had a flashback and lost it and was not very responsive for a few minutes. I had no control over it. After that, I think I answered a few questions ok but I got very confused and could not really address the questions nearly as well as I should have been able to. The ALJ and asked many questions, and I wanted to answer them properly and accurately, but I cannot remember what I said. At the end he asked if we had anything else to offer. could that imply he was already thinking and negative decision? Also, when I call the representative she said the ALJ had made a decision and it went to the writers. can we read anything into what I just said as to what potential outcome?I was totally confused and scared. Thanks Kay.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Norman,

      The judge asked you if you had anything else to add to be sure that you had an opportunity to present all the information and evidence that you wanted to. It is normal workflow for the decision to go to the writers department for letter preparation. At this point, there is no way to know whether your claim will be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  95. Norman says:

    Hello Kay, I had my hearing February 10, 2015. I suffer from multiple physical problems including stenosis, DDD, DJD, more. and PTSD from an attack and more. The ALJ didn’t ask me about the PTSD, only physical issues. If it is because of adequate documentation, why not stop and approve me on that instead of continuing w/physical q’s? Called SS and rep said it wasn’t “closed yet.” Is this terminology significant? What was she trying to say?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Norman,

      The hearing appeal not being “closed” means the decision is not complete. I suggest that you call the hearing office to get a more specific update. It is possible that the judge thought there was enough information on the PTSD and that it was not disabling in and of itself but perhaps in combination with the physical issues, it might be.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  96. Sarah says:

    In 2010 I filed for SSI Disability due to Fibromyaglia, Degenerated Disc Disorder, Chronic Migraines, Chronic Headaches, Polycystic Ovarina Syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis I had over 10 years of medical history and I was denied, I refiled and they are now sending me to a doctor for lack of medical history what are my chances this time for approval by the way I am 37 years old now

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sarah,

      I cannot predict whether or not you will be approved. If you are denied request a copy of your claim file so you can see which of your medical history records are in file and the exact reasons for the denial as written in the decision memo. Also secure a Social Security attorney. 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 the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  97. Barry Wielos says:

    I went to a medical examiner, and he was very professional. I brought in my medical history from my cardiologist. I also sent copies to my disability handler. Now he requested a second exam. Is that a promising sign?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Barry,

      A second examination for a different physical condition or a more detailed examination of the first condition would indicate that the evidence in your claim file including the consultative examination report is not sufficient as yet for the claims examiner to approve your claim. That said, your claim still has the possibility of being approved as long as it is still being investigated.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  98. Cassandra says:

    Hi I am 26 and have bipolar disorder. I applied for disability in January 2015, they’ve been really consistent with sending me paperwork to fill out and calling me for information since then. Yesterday they sent me to see one of their psychologists. After the exam, the doctor told me that he agrees with my diagnosis and that he doesn’t think there’s any way I could work and he will write up his report saying so and send it to the ss office. My question is what is the next step and is this a good sign? How much faith does social security put in these exams they send people to? Their opinions, I mean. I have a long history of hospitalizations sometimes almost for a month at a time and several times a year. Also will social security be getting those hospital records? I put down all 8 of them on my application. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cassandra,

      The consulting physician’s strong statements regarding your inability to work will be helpful to your claim. Social Security probably will not get the full hospital records; they might get the admission and discharge summaries. You can ask the examiner who asked you to go to the consultative examination whether or not they have gotten any hospital records. If not and your claim is denied, you can get a copy of the admit and discharge summaries and any psychological testing done while you were hospitalized and submit the records with your appeal. If you have to appeal, it would be a good idea to get legal assistance. 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 the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  99. bryan says:

    I had my psychological CE last week Monday. Today I get a letter that they want blood work. Anybody know why they would want that? My claim is Mental.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Bryan,

      You can ask the claims examiner what is being tested; however, it is possible that the mental exam did not support disability and your medical record mentions a condition that could be verified with a blood test. It is also possible that the request was a mistake.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  100. Brittany says:

    Hello, I just had a question about the initial application process. My husband applied for SSI in 2012 and after being denied, going to a hearing and then the appeals council, it was denied by the appeals council on 2/20/15. He reapplied in 3/6/15, but this time we have all current medical records, something that we did not have for the previous application. My question is, can social security deny someone without a consultative exam? My husband has long term medical records (since childhood) of Bipolar Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, and learning disabilities, but the claims worker at DDS insists that they don’t need any “old” medical records (hundred of pages from 1998-2010). She said they will only consider records dating back to 2012, which as I stated, he DOES have, but i’m not sure if those records in them self will be enough for him to be approved. I have heard the CE is mostly used to deny a claim because of “lack” of recent medical records. My husband has been to the doctor less than 60 days before the application date, so they have recent records. Can they still deny him at this point without a CE appointment? Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Brittany,

      Yes, a claim can be denied without a consultative examination. A consultative examination is ordered only if there is insufficient information to make an approval or denial decision. An exam could be ordered if your husband’s doctor’s notes are insufficient to determine your husband’s limitations and restrictions or the exam might be to determine whether he is capable of managing his benefits himself if he is approved.

      SSI benefits are effective with the month following the month of application so medical history for three years before (back to 2012) is adequate to obtain background for your husband’s current condition. Earlier medical records would likely only help if they contained something like a brain scan that showed permanent physiological damage to the brain or some other test that had not been repeated recently and that revealed a permanent condition.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Brittany says:

        Kay,

        thank you very much for the response. My husband’s treating doctor is supportive of his disability claim based on my husband’s history and his own assessments he has done on my husband. I have a feeling that my husband will definitely be sent for a CE, because I have copies of all his records and nothing really addresses the requirements of the social security blue book directly. My question now is, if we are able to get his treating doctor to do the CE, how strongly will social security consider his opinion? The CE that he got done for his previous application (2012) was a one time evaluation with a doctor that he has never seen before and was set up by social security. The doctor who performed the tests confirmed all of my husbands conditions and also added that he felt he had signs of asbergers syndrome. When this was brought up to social security, and in his denial letter, they completely discredited this doctor saying that it was a one time evaluation based on my husbands “word” essentially. I have taken the past 2 years while waiting at the appeals council to familiarize myself with all of the social security laws and such, so I’m very aware of the whole process. There is just small stipulations like this one that confuse me, that i’m hoping you can give me a better answer to.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Brittany,

          In some circumstances, the attending physician will be authorized to do a focused examination at the request of Social Security if there is no other physician in the georgraphic area qualified to perform the examination, but it is rare. I do not know the exact process of requesting this. If your husband has an attorney, he might consult with the attorney.

          As an aside, a person can be approved for benefits without a condition that meets the listings in the “Blue Boo.” He can be approved if he has limitations that keep him from performing occupations he has performed in the past and if he is a younger worker (loosely defined as age fifty), any other occupation for which he has the education, training, or transferable skills to perform.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Brittany says:

            Hi Kay, I’m not sure if I can post this here as it does not relate to the consultative exam, but this is the only way I know of contacting you.. We called Social Security yesterday and to our GREAT surprise, my husband had a favorable decision on the 28th! We are extremely pleased considering it took less than 2 months at the initial application to get this news, with no CE! My question now is, will they send out an award letter immediately or will he have to do a PERC interview first? I read that the PERC interview is necessary for all favorable SSI decisions, but i’m just not sure if we will get some kind of verification in the mail of this decision before that interview.. Thank you for any help in advance!

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Brittany,

            Your husband may not be called in for an interview because his claim pended for a short period of time. If his or your income or your living arrangements have changed since he applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your husband should contact Social Security saying that he has been medically approved and he has a change he wants to report before the first payment goes out. If no interview is required, he will just get a letter of approval with payment amounts listed. If they want an update, they will either call him or send him a letter requesting he attend an appointment.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  101. tee tee says:

    I applied for ssi for my 6yr.old son in 2013 and was denide so i appealed it and Applied 2014 it was for bahavorial problems took him to the doctor they said He has adhd gave him medication
    Went to appointment ss sent me a letter like 10months after saying im Waiting for a hearing with the judgenow just recieved a letter today saying that they scheduled aconsultative examination what does that mean and would he be approved this time.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tee Tee,

      I cannot predict whether or not your son will be approved. The consultative examination is to have your son examined and to get a second medical opinion or updated medical information on your son’s current condition. Be sure that your son attends the exam.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  102. karen says:

    I have just filed for disability. How do ss when you have several things wrong? I am totally blind in my left eye, depression and anxiety disorders, a herniated disc in the right side of my neck( I am in traction 5 times a day for 20 minutes, I have a hiatal hernia and GERD, sleep apnea. while propably any one of these might alone not be disabling, but all together, I have chronic pain, cant lift 10 pounds. Do they look at all the medical and physical, and mental problems as a whole? What do you think my chances are? I do have a college degree.

    karen

    • karen says:

      I am 51 and haven’t worked in over a year. These problems have gone on for years. They have continually gotten worse to the point I just could not do it.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Karen,

      All of your medical and psychiatric conditions will be considered individually and in combination. It can be difficult to prove disability based on multiple conditions. You need to make a statement about the limitations and restrictions that you have from each of the conditions. You might right up a list of limitations and put the condition or conditions causing the limitations in parentheses. Make it clear in your application, which doctors are treating you for which conditions, the beginning and ending dates under the care of each. It might also help to get a printout of your prescription history from your pharmacy. List both the mental and physical requirements of your past occupations.

      You also need to be sure that all your doctors are aware of all your conditions and know that you are getting treatment for all of them and from which doctor. They will be more likely to support your claim if they have the full picture. If you are denied, get an experienced Social Security attorney.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  103. richard wayne says:

    Hi kay iam just trying to find out how much info ss pysch doc doc will have from ss files before she sees my son . There are things that he will only discuss at va. I keep telling him the ss pysch doc is independent from ss and will she will not see his enntire file. Am I giving him the right info.

    Thank you
    richard wayne

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Richard,

      Some medical information is sent to the consulting physician–how much I do not know. Your son will likely have to be open and honest with the consulting physician to get his Social Security claim approved.

      He can be assured of privacy. The claims examiner will see the consultant’s report in order to determine whether your husband is eligible, but no one in the local Social Security office will read the medical because they are not involved in that part of the claim decision process. In fact, if the claim is approved and is only for Social Security Disability and not also for SSI, the file will be sent directly to the central payment center for payment to be set up and finally authorized. The medical will not reviewed at the payment center.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  104. richard wayne says:

    My son is combat disabled ss has set appt for pysch test with their doctor ss have documents from va showing his mental and physical diagnosis. Does the ss psych doc have his ss file or is this a independent evaluation with out any bias from social security or is this doc on her own to render opinion
    thank you
    richard wayne

  105. Hugo says:

    Hello,

    I have hearing loss in both my ears and low vision in both my eyes. My vision is very limited when my eyes are exposed to white lights and certain type of light. SSDS has sent me forms for a hearing test and an eye examination. I would like to know which step of the disability process is this out of the five steps? After these tests how close am I to getting an answer? How long after the test does SSDS usually take to make a decision? Is there another step after the tests? Also if social security determination services claim I have severe hearing loss but not severe vision impairment or vice versa would I still be able to get benefits or do I have to have both conditions severe enough in order to be eligible for benefits? If both my conditions are severe would they revoke my driver’s license?

    Thank You,
    Hugo

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Hugo,

      Your claim is undergoing medical review. As you describe your condition, you probably do not qualify at Step 3 of the evaluation process, which is described in the Claims Process article on this website. “How Does the Social Security Administration Apply Social Security Disability Law to Determine If I Am Disabled? Your evaluation is probably at Step 4.

      The consulting physicians have three weeks to deliver their reports. When they are received, the reports will be considered along with all the other information in file. This can take from a couple weeks to a month or more before a decision is made. If just one of your conditions is disabling according to Social Security law, you will be approved. I cannot answer the question about your driver’s license, but if you question your ability to drive, you might consider taking a vision test at the Department of Motor Vehicles or consult with your optometrist to see whether your vision is good enough to drive. I believe that there are some special devices that can be added to a vehicle to help hard of hearing people drive more safely.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Hugo says:

        Thank you Kay!

        I also have another question. If I do get approved am I allowed to still work my current job part-time but limited only to a certain amount of hours or dollar amount a month? If so which is that called? SSD or SSI? I am not sure what the difference is after reading it but I know I am applying for both.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Hugo,

          Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs are both administered by the Social Security Administration. Disability is defined the same for both programs. To be eligible for SSDI, in addition to being disabled, you must also have worked and paid Social Security (FICA) taxes for enough years to be insured for benefits including earning credits equal to half the possible number of work credits in the ten years before you became disabled (or in the span between age 21 and date of disability if you are under age thirty-one when when becoming disabled). To be eligible for SSI, in addition to being disabled, you must have income and assets below a certain level because SSI is a public assistance benefit, rather than an earned benefit.

          Gross wages or net profit from self-employment that is below $1,090 per month is usually not considered substantial and does not preclude your being considered disabled. This means that you could work below that level and likely be eligible for SSDI in the full amount.

          Work earnings are used two ways for SSI: to determine medical eligibility and financial eligibility. The first is described above: usually earnings below $1,090 are not considered substantial and allow a finding of disability. The second is that the earnings are also used to calculate SSI benefit amount. Let’s say, for example, that your gross earnings are $1,000 in a month. If you have no other income, half of the earnings above $85 would reduce your SSI benefit for that month, so your benefit would be reduced by $457.50.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Hugo says:

            Hello Again Kay!

            After a long wait I finally received a letter in the mail from the SSA office. Here is what it said…

            We have found that you meet the medical requirements for disability benefits. An explanation of our finding is below. Please read it carefully.

            All available medical reports were obtained and evaluated by this Agency.
            You said you were disabled because of visually impaired and hearing loss.
            The following was considered in making our decision.

            ^ the medical evidence in file shows you are disable due to blindness.
            However, we cannot establish your disabling condition prior to 9/24/14

            We have not yet made a decision about whether you meet the nonmedical requirements, but we will make that decision soon. Then we will send you a second notice explaining our decision. After you receive the second notice you will have 60 days to appeal the determination we made about your claim for disability benefits.

            So I would like to know exactly what this all means. I don’t understand the part where they could not establish my disabling condition prior to 9/24/14. I applied on 1/29/15. Why would they put it all the way back to 2014? Will this mean I get back pay from 09/24/14? Please clarify what that means for me. Also I got another document from SSA verifying my updated application because I got a call from Social Security on 5/26 and they wanted to know if anything has changed. I believe this is good news and now they are just figuring out the amount I’m getting due to the nonmedical part. Attached they also sent me a household income sheet to fill out. Why would they need to know my parents income? I am living with them though.

            Also, any idea when that second notice comes? Is the second notice the award letter? If not how much longer is the award letter if the nonmedical requirement is accepted. How much longer do you think till I receive the first payment?

            Thank You,
            Hugo

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Hugo,

            The medical review determines the date you became disabled. The non-medical review is of other eligibility criteria and it uses that information together with the disability date to determine when benefits start. Your post indicates that your claim is for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). With a January 29, 2015 application, your SSI benefits will begin to accrue February 2015 if you meet the income and asset guidelines in February.

            The form you received may be one-size-fits-all. If you are age eighteen or over and were age eighteen or over on February 1, then write “Not applicable; I am not a minor” in the section asking for parents’ income. You will have to provide information about whether or not you contribute to shelter and food expenses or pay a flat rental fee to live in their home. If you are getting in-kind (non-cash) support in the form of housing and/or food, your SSI will be paid in a reduced amount. If you later contribute to expenses or pay rent, report that to Social Security to see if your SSI benefit can be raised.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Hugo says:

            oh I understand a lot better now. Do you know the minium-maximum you can receive for SSI in my case?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Hugo,

            The maximum federal SSI payable is $732; the minimum is $1. The amount you are paid will depend on your income. If you are getting free room and board from your parents, the maximum is $488.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  106. Tim Davis says:

    Dear Kay…..I submitted my application for SSD in December 2014. I stopped worked on 12 Dec 2014. I had a partial colectomy secondary to severe diverticulitis disease, had a radical prostatectomy for Stage 2 prostrate cancer, Stage 3 Kidney disease, sleep apnea, type 2 insulin dependent uncontrolled diabetes, neuropathy both feet,100% disabled. Was sent for a psychological exam resulting in diagnosis of depression, anxiety and PTSD

  107. keysha says:

    I had a brain tumor remove in June and I have diabetes and depression. A lot apply for ssdi and ssi. Now they want me to take a physical

  108. ashlee says:

    Hi, i was diagnosed at 14 with ptsd, severe depression, bipolar, social anxiety, & insomnia, after being hospitalized for self mutilation & a suicide attempt. The psycatrist that i had said my illness was permanent but guarded. I am now 23. Ive been receiving social security since i was 16 & my case is up for review. Now my question is, they wany me to go see one of their doctors.. i have not been to my psycatrist since last year, august i believe is the last time i went, my anxiety & depression is out of control, i rarely leave my house.. does social security want me to see their doctors because they think im better since i havent seen my psycatrist in a few months? I did a walk in at the mental health clinic today because i need to get back on my medication, should i reschedule my appointment with the social security doctors, until i’ve seen my psycatrist? I am really stressed out about this review, i cannot function like a normal person, i barely even get out of bed.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ashlee,

      I do not know whether trying to reschedule your appointment would have a detrimental effects on the review of your claim. You are being asked to go to an independent consultative examination because you do not have any current medical history, which could be construed as an indication that you are better. You should get an appointment with your psychiatrist as soon as possible so that your usual doctor can create current records based on his current assessment of you. This, however, will not necessarily mean that the consultative examination will be canceled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  109. trina says:

    Hi kay you wrote me back from what i explained to you is that something good or bad the way my whole lain is goinig now all the denials now them sending me all this paper work to fill out and then going to see their contracted disability. Doctor im truly confused

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Trina,

      It is good that your claim is being carefully reviewed as evidenced by the additional information and examination requested. If you do meet the disability criteria, the careful review should reveal that you are.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • trina says:

      HI KAY I CHECKED THE STATUS AND IT SAY REVIEWING THE MEDICALL PORTION OF MY CLAIM IS PENDING WHAT DOSE THAT MEAN AND IS THAT GOOD OR WHAT TKS

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Trina,

        The status “medical still pending” means that no decision has been made yet as to whether you are disabled as defined by Social Security/SSI law.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • trina says:

          THANKS FOR ALL YOUR REPLYS AS SOON AS I KNOW SOMETHING I WILL LET U KNOW

        • TRINA says:

          HI KAY I SPOKE TO MY EXZAMINER AND SHE INFORMED ME SHE WAS DONE WITH MY CASE SHE SENT IT TO A DOCTOR FOR REVIEW IM NOT UNDERSTANDING THIS PROCESS IS THIS A GOOD THING

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Trina,

            The examiner has made a recommendation, which is being reviewed by a physician to be sure the medical information was interpreted correctly. The recommended decision could be an approval or denial. You should receive notification fairly soon.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  110. Anitra Smith says:

    Kay,

    Thanks for replying. The letter says thst available records are insufficient and additional information is needed. It is a mental status exam for conditions: general anxiety. Does this help to narrow it down. Sounds like it could go either way.

  111. Anitra Smith says:

    Dear Kay,

    I haveb been diagnosed with Chiari Malformation, cervical radiculopathy,spinal stenosis, lumbar radiculopathy, double crush syndrome, straightening of the spine, and ulnar neuropathy. I apied for ssdi in November 2014 I received a letter in the mail from ssa requesting me to take a mental exam. But I don’t have to take a physical exam. Is that a good sign? My psychiatrist has already diagnosed me with anxiety, panick attacks and major depression disorder what are my chances.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Anitra,

      The consultative examination could have been requested because you have not been found physically disabled and they are trying to determine whether you are mentally disabled or it could be that you have been found physically disabled and the exam is to determine whether you are mentally capable of managing your benefits to pay your basic needs before other purchases or you need a representative payee to receive your benefits and manage your money.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  112. trina says:

    HELLO KIM MY LOCAL HOSPITAL APPLIED FOR SS FOR ME AND I WAS DENIED FOUR TIMES NOW THE LAWYED DID MY CASE A NEW ONE AND SS SENT ME TO THE DISABILITY DOC FOR A PHYSICAL AND A XRAY I CHECKED ON LINE PRIOR AND IT KEPT SAYING WORKING ON THE MEDICAL PORTION OF MY CASE WELL IVE BEEN TO THE DISABILITY DOC AND WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME THUS FAR PLEASE HELP ME GET A PEACE OF MIND THE DOC TOLD MY MOM I WOULD HEAR SOMETHING IN TWO WEEKS HELP STRUGGLED. THOUGHTS

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Trina,

      The doctor cannot predict how long it will take Social Security to complete your claim review. It can take anywhere from a month to two months or more to get a decision after a consultative examination.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • trina says:

        In YOUR OPINION IS THAT A GOOD THINg GOING THROUGH ALL THIS I HAVENT BEEN ABLE TO BE MY NORMAL SELF SINCE 2009 its so hard when you know you have a problem and you get fed up and you have to go through so much to get help you truly need its sad

      • trina says:

        HI KAY I CALL SOCIAL SECURITY TODAY TO SEE WHAT WAS MY STATUS AND THE. REP TOLD ME THEY WERE STILL WORKING ON MY CASE AND I WILL RECIVE A LETTER IN THE MAIL AND HE FURTHER WENT ON TO SAY WHEN I RECIVE THE LETTER THERE WILL BE INSTRUCTIONS ON WHAT TO DO NEXT I FELT THE REP WAS HINTING AT SOMETHING TO ME WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THAT INFORMATION I JUST SHARED WITH YOU PLEASE EASE MY MIND IF YOU CAN

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Trina,

          If the letter being referred to is a denial letter, the letter will tell you how to appeal. If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the first letter will not be decision letter, it will be a letter asking you to attend an appointment to update your financial information.So, the representative’s comment does not reveal the nature of the decision.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • trina says:

            HI KAY AFTER A CE EXZAM IS A LONG WAIT A GOOD THING OR IS A SHORT ONE, THEY TOLD ME THAT THE DATE DEAD LINE FOR THEM TO HAVE A DECISION FOR MY CASE IS ON THE 24 OF THE MONTH DOSE THIS MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU FROM YOUR EXPERIENCES

          • trina says:

            KAY I JUST SPOKE WITH THE EXZAMINER WHO SENT ME FOR MY CE AND SHE WAS VERY NICE I ASKED HER WAS THERE ANYTHING ELSE SHE NEEDED FROM ME SHE SAID NO THAT THE DOCTOR SENT THE PHYSICAL REPORT BUT SHE WAS WAITING ON THE XRAY THAT WAS PERFORMED AND SHE FURTHER SAID SHE DONT KNOW WHY THEY WOULDN’T SEND BOTH. AND SHES TRYING TO OBTAIN THAT XRAY IS THAT A GOOD SIGN

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Trina,

            I am responding to both your posts. The length of time that passes after an consultative examination is not an indicator of approval or denial. The examiner would follow up on the x-ray that was taken because without it, the doctor’s report would be considered incomplete. I would regard the date you were given for completion as a target date, not an absolute date.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  113. Duke skipwith says:

    Hi kay
    Im 25yrs i only worked for 3months wen i was 19
    20,i have chf,,afib,hypertension,edema in my legs due ro chf,im morbid obesity i have.extreme pain in joints i cant stand more than 30mins cant really sit to long ither i have to elevate my legs so the dont go num
    Im also blind in one eye and my good eye vision is 20/400 ,,i filed for disability in may of 2014 got denied in October i reconsideration in nov as of now the examiners been contacting me asking questions
    I had a attorney the whole way
    He stated that i meet nd equally legal blindness listing and for my chf ,could this mean
    I could be approved soon ,ive have no insurance so only treatments i had was free clinics ,eye doctors,and the ssa exam

    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Duke,

      Please see my reply to your original post under “How Does Social Security Decide How Much SSI to Pay When I Get an SSI Approval?”

      Thanks,
      Kay

  114. J.S. says:

    Hi Kay,

    A couple months after I started my disability process , Disability Determination Bureau sent a letter wanting me to authorize the release of my medical records to the Social Security Administration. Is this normal procedure or does this look like I might have a chance of getting approved?

    Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear J.S.

      Signing an authorization for release of medical information is routine. Usually it is done at application, but perhaps it was overlooked in your case.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  115. E says:

    Hi Kay, thank you for your wonderfully helpful site. This is all so confusing for me. I applied for SSI online back in July/August 2014 not realizing they only accepted SSDI apps online. I didn’t make an appointment until December. At that meeting they had a copy of my online application and they said I’d done such a good job they didn’t really need anything more from me. I have multiple mental illnesses, but I also have a back problem. I didn’t get my function and work history reports in on time (didn’t see a deadline), but the examiner was very helpful and I have a long history of mental illness. She said they only consider the last two years, and I’m not sure if she means two years before the date I sent my online application in or two years before my December appointment.

    I talked to her today and she said she received my reports Feb 2. They are sending me to a doctor for an x-ray and evaluation of my back, but not to a psychiatrist. This is really concerning. I thought they sent all mental health cases to one of their doctors. The examiner also said they’ve already made a decision regarding “that part” of my case. She knows but can’t tell me what it is. I can’t imagine how they could make a decision that quickly, especially since they just got my function and work history reports last week. This really doesn’t sound good for me. Can you provide me with any insight or advice? I’m absolutely terrified.

    Thanks so much for your help.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear E.,

      Not all mental health evaluations require the claimant to go to a mental health consultative examination. If your psychiatry records are well-documented, they together with your activities of daily living question (if asked for one) may have provided enough information to make a decision. Given that you are also being sent for a back evaluation, it is possible that they did not find your psychiatric condition disabling. The other possibility is that they did determine your mental condition is disabiling but they think it will improve, and they want to see if you have a back condition that will be permanent.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  116. JS says:

    Hello,

    I applied for disability in Dec. 2014. I recently was reviewed by a disability doctor. Can I obtain the report and his findings of my evaluation?

    Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear J.S.,

      Social Security will often not release a report directly to the claimant but will release to the attending physician who could explain any medical terms. You can request that a copy of the report be sent to you or, if that is not possible, to your attending physician. Another way to get it is, if your claim is denied, you can request a copy of the claim file for your appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  117. Lakisha smith says:

    An say his case is closed with DDS cause they have enough information.

  118. Lakisha smith says:

    Hi my son had an appointment with disability determined doctor in I call him today an he say his appointment has been cancel to see the doctor so I call social sec office n there sayn his case is pending.So I called back an told the guy that was work n his case that Ssi administration say his case pending so he say they have enough information to determine his case I’m guessing after they got information from his councilor an he say I shoid be received something in the mail..Can he be denied?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lakisha,

      While it is possible that your son could still be denied at this point, there is a reasonably possibility that he will be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  119. martha palmer says:

    After spending a few minutes with my nephew, his mental challenges become apparent. Could the primary care physician possibly verify that he has a mental disorder? Does that ever happen?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Martha,

      Possibly the primary care physician will pick up on your nephew’s mental limitations or disorders; but, unless your nephews condition is very severe, it is likely that more analysis as to its severity and how it affects function by a mental health expert will be needed. Please also see my response to your prior question.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  120. martha palmer says:

    My adult nephew (53 years old) has is mentally challenged and has issues with depression and anxiety. He has lived with his mother his whole life. In addition to his mental issues, he has severe back problems. His mother has never applied for disability for him. We are now starting the process. Next week is will have his first evaluation by a primary physician. If the doctor says he needs to see a mental health professional, will he direct us to that professional? Will we have to pay for that evaluation? I am paying for the initial physical evaluation because he has no insurance or medicaid. My funds are limited. I do not live in the same city and state as my nephew and his mother. I am arranging all of his medical evaluations via long distance and traveling to his location to transport him to his appointments. This is the first time I’ve dealt with Social Security Disability payments. It’s quite a maize!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Martha,

      You have to pay for all medical and mental evaluations that you set up. If the Social Security Administration needs more information than you provide, they may send your nephew for a consultative examination at SSA’s expense. You do not have control over whether or not SSA orders an examination or what type of exam it might be. If you can afford it, it would be good to have a mental assessment of your nephew done by a pyschologist. Be sure to state on the examination that your nephew lacks ongoing records because of lack of insurance and that you have recently stepped in to help out.

      If your nephew still doesn’t have health insurance by the last quarter of this year, I suggest that he apply for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) when there is an open enrollment period late in the year. More information is available at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  121. Brenna says:

    I am 55 years old and on May 6, 2014 I had thyroid surgery and in the process the doctor cut the right nerve to the vocal chord. I no longer can talk very loudly. I also have a 8 inch scar that will not heal and swells daily and looks like I have a egg in the middle of my neck. Not only have I lost my voice but I have depression. I applied but now am being sent to a doctor for my depression. In order for me to drink any liquids I have to turn my neck to the left and it looks and feels like constantly I have a tight rope on my neck. I have worked all my life and now I can’t. Why are they sending me to another doctor?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Brenna,

      Apparently, the claim examiner wants some information about your condition that is not answered in the information already in your claim file. Be sure to attend the examination. Also, you could call the examiner and ask for a list of the medical records and statements they have in file to be sure that all the information you want considered is in file. (For records, ask for the dates covered.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Brenna says:

        I went for my appt with the physiologist and that was 2 weeks ago and today I was called and they are wanting to send me to a doctor for my voice. Why 2 doctor apps? When they talk to me on the phone they can tell I have not much of a voice. Good sign or bad sign?

        Thanks

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Brenna,

          Each of the doctors has a different specialty and you have more than one medical problem, so they are sending you to two different specialists. This is a sign that your claim is being thoroughly investigated but not a sign of whether it will be approved or denied.
          Sincerely,
          Kay

  122. Cindy says:

    So if my private LTD sends me to a doctor and they pay for it is there any law that says I can’t request there report directly from the doctor. I leave in Iowa. I know my LTD ins. is required to send it to me within a 30 days of my request.

    Thank you
    for your time

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cindy,

      Usually private insurance companies, upon your written request and authorization, will release a copy of consultative examination reports to your private physician.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  123. Susan says:

    Kay, I applied for SSDI back in October. I started my claim on September when I stopped working, but didn’t know that I had worked a couple of weeks that month. My case went to dds in November, and I was sent functional reports for both my mother and myself to complete. These were sent back within the allotted time frame, actually early. I am applying for seizures, migraines and neck pain from multiple auto accidents. I went to the ER in December after having fallen in the house during a seizure-a fall at work was what prompted me using FMLA and applying for disability. (it had occurred during a seizure) I followed up with the examiner from dds, making sure that they would get the paperwork. It showed my medication levels were low, but that could be due to a uti. I am also pregnant, so my body may be metabolizing the med differently. I immediately contacted the Dr, and my meds were increased. This past week I followed up, to make sure they received everything, and to let them know that I am facing foreclosure on my home due to not having income. I was off work two years ago when I had a seizure that caused an auto accident, this was the beginning of my disability. The examiner told me he was still missing my physical therapy notes, and stated if he didn’t get them he would have to make a decision without them. I followed up and they are being sent this week. I also received a notice from my local rehabilitation services that they would not be able to help me find employment, as my physician stated I would need to be out of work until 9/2015. (just due to seizures, not looking at other issues) I know the importance of the pt notes, as I also noted I have a rtc injury that prohibits me from lifting. My neck injury affects my shoulder-all the muscles. I have been receiving medical tx throughout this, at times paid for by my auto insurance. My migraines have affected me to the point I leave work, have to work in a dark room, etc. Even people’s deodorant can cause a migraine. I read all about the fact that they want to look at other jobs- I would consider a therapist a pretty sedentary job. I lost consciousness with two patients in my office, documented at work and with my physician. I would wander around the building, not knowing what I was doing. I feel like I am mixed messages – he is placing importance on the pt notes, but has specialist notes, from the past three years. He tells me if he doesn’t get the notes, he will forward my case on to the doctor. Will the documentation that I should be off work for a year hinder my case? How do they look at pregnancy? I took my FMLA even before my pregnancy, due to seizures. I had received short term disability until my leave(s) were exhausted.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Susan,

      I suggest calling the examiner to tell him that you have mailed the physical therapy notes. Also mention that vocational rehabilitation has declined to provide services because it is not known when you can work. Your doctor saying that you cannot work for a year helps rather than hinders your claim because you have to be disabled or be expected to be disabled a year to receive benefits. Pregnancies don’t last a year and return to sedentary work is usually four weeks postpartum so being pregnant by itself is a neutral event, especially if you tell them you became pregnant after leaving work due to seizures. I assume that you have already provided the documentation from your workplace about seizures at work. If you haven’t, you should do so very quickly.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  124. DenRad says:

    I have a question, I was one of the lucky one’s who applied for SSDI because I was badly beaten near death causing me to have PTSD. I filled out all their paperwork with no lawyer and sent a 100 page book of what happens now in my daily life. With in a few weeks I was approved. They told me though after the 3 years on the program they will require a med review so I filled out the one sheet document in Oct 2014 and Jan 2015 I received another letter stating disregard for that med exam until later. But the IRS told me that if approved after the first 3 years then they will re-check me in another 7 years. I am 57 years old. Does the letter that I received telling me no exam at this time is needed mean it will be another 7 years before I get checked again?

    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear DenRad,

      Yes, you will likely have another update in seven years, but I would not worry about it. If your condition doesn’t improve substantially, benefits will continue. (By the way, I am not sure you mean the IRS; do you mean SSA?)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  125. Shannon says:

    I had a stroke in August of 2014, I was a waitress before the stroke so I have not been able to go back to work as of yet, because I still have left side limitations. I have already applied for disabilty I even applied for presumptive benefites in October. I got a letter last week to go see a Dr. For more medical evidence on the 26th of this month. I applied for disabilty because I can’t work right now because of my limitations from the stroke but my dr can’t get my blood pressure under control and I have diabetes also. When I was in the hospital for my stroke they could not get my blood pressure or diabetes to stable out either. Do you think they might use one of these conditions as a basis to determine my disability even though I didn’t apply because of them but I have had a problem with it for years and probably is some of the cause for my stroke along with stress. How long do you think it will take after I see the dr they are sending me to for some type of answer?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shannon,

      Social Security will consider all your medical conditions. I suggest calling the claims examiner to be sure that she is aware of your uncontrolled or poorly controlled blood pressure and any limitations you have because of your diabetes (having diabetes in itself is not a reason not to work) so that everything can be considered.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  126. sherry says:

    I applied for my daughter who have asthma and broke both of her fema bones and have a 504 plan at school the dds said I may have to take her to see one of there doctors then I call him he said they made a decision already and its gone be sent to quality control

  127. Susie says:

    In 2013 I had rotor cuff surgery…was out of work 3 months…then went back….still having pain after 2months into work found out it never healed and I had torn 3 tendons and had shoulder impigment syndrome ….. Had revision surgery in November 2014 after finding out therapy wasn’t working so dr had X-rays and MRI and that was when he told me I needed to have revision surgery and that I had 3 torn tendons….. And I also have a large tear on other shoulder that will need surgery when this ones all healed. I’ve been in healthcare since I’ve been 15. And now I am 48…the last 10 tears I’ve worked as a certified nurses aide and years before was working in people’s homes doing home health care…..I myself don’t feel safe doing this work anymore because of the wear and tear on my shoulders and weakness I would not feel safe lifting and taking care of the elderly. I applied for ssdi in late December of 2013 was denied so got a disability lawyer and appealed and now was denied second time but now am waiting for a hearing date…..I also have a 15 year old girl to take care of too…..what are my chances of winning my hearing and will my 15 year old be awarded also because she’s my child?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Susie,

      If you do not have the education or transferable skills to work in lighter work, your claim could be approved. The fact that an attorney took your case indicates that you have a reasonable chance of approval. It sounds as if you have worked enough to have a family maximum benefit high enough to allow payment of benefits for your daughter if you are approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Susie says:

        It is almost the end of June and my next surgery is July 9 (2015) on my left shoulder….the revision surgery on my right shoulder has left me w a Popeye deformity….that is sometimes painful….in the midst of these problems my hands starting acheing and fingers locking up with the. Numbness and tingling and as I thought….carpal tunell was settling in…..Dr. Sending me for a nerve test but is 100 % sure its carpal tunnel….I am in process of hearing date as I was denied again last October…so my lawyer sent the paper out last October….for a hearing…..its been 8 months and still nothing….I’m so frustrated my bills are high…..my aspire worker sent in for ext. On my tanf which was denied…..

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Susie,

          The end of your post seems to have a problem. I don’t understand the last line or whether you have a question.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  128. Valerie says:

    Hi Kay, my case is now closed and being sent to the local social security office.Is this a good sign?

    Thanks,
    Valerie

    • Valerie says:

      Thanks for you response Kay. I was approved medically, and now I am just waiting for an appointment for nonmedical review!

      Thanks,
      Valerie

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Valerie,

      If your claim shows up as closed on http://www.ssa.gov/mysocialsecurity, then your claim may have been denied. Otherwise, it would still show as pending. If the examiner said it was closed, she may just mean that they are finished with the medical decision and the decision could be an approval or denial.

      If you are denied, I recommend requesting a copy of your claim file so you can read the determination memo. If you disagree with the decision, you can appeal within sixty days of the date of the denial letter. If you appeal, it would be a good idea to have an attorney who specializes in Social Security prepare your reconsideration appeal. 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 the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  129. Araceli says:

    Hi Kay,
    My husband is 42 diagnosed with Chronic Liver Cirrhosis and has ear Malformation in which is engorged has had 3 surgeries ear ambolization w Coiling, His health and speech has detiorated . He has applied since June 2014 and has not been working since May 2013 due to his illness, he has his CE evaluation today 1/9/15, What are the chances for him to get approved?
    Thanks
    Celi

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Araceli,

      I can’t predict whether your husband will be approved. It depends on his physical limitations and his educational and work backgrounds. If there are no occupations he can perform with the speech and hearing deficits and any physical limitations fro his liver condition, he will be approved. If he is denied and you disagree with the reasons, I suggest getting a copy of his claim file and appealing with a good Social Security attorney. 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 the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  130. meme says:

    Hi, My Husband age 49 applied for ssdi in late aug 2014 and has had a laminectomy of the l-4/5/6 and has arthritis with spinal stenosis. He has history of mild depression whch has worsened since his back surgery. He has been to a mental exam in oct through social security. Now jan 8 received a letter stating he has a physical exam in feb. His previous work was a roofer and tree trimmer that he is no longer able to do because of his injuries. Just to add he cant do anything anymore, and he was a very active person before his injury. My question is because they are sending him to a medical exam this late in the process do you think he will be denied at this stage?
    Thank you

    • meme says:

      I should add that he has a 6th grade education and some what illiterate.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Meme,

      I am responding to both your posts. First, the scheduled examination is not an indication your husband will be denied. It is important to let the claims examiner know that your husband has a 6th grade education and to describe his literacy limitations. If he is denied, I recommend appealing with an attorney. 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 the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  131. Drew Valentine says:

    Kay,
    Once again I come to you for your knowledge. Why would a ALJ request for me to have a physical exam……after the hearing process. I have asked many. And everyone says that it was not common to have this done. I am surprised by this because I felt my Rep and I had more than enough evidence for him to make a decision!! Thanks for your time!!!

    Drew!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Drew,

      Not frequently, but sometimes, judges request additional medical information after a hearing. This will be done when the judge has some question about your condition that was not yet answered. Be sure to attend the examination.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  132. Valerie says:

    Hello, I applied for disability in January 2014 for anxiety. I constantly lose feelings in my legs and sometimes have trouble walking for days because of this. I had a mini stroke and lost vision in my left eye..my doctor sent me to a nuerologist for testing for ms. The tests came back normal and he explained to me that anxiety could cause these nuerological symptoms. My examiner said that I needed to take a physical and mental exam but it is backed up at least 2 months from now. I made an appointment to see a psycologist myself and got the mental health testing done. He informed me that i have severe anxiety and depression and also scitzophrania. Is it possible to get approved with these results? My medical examiner said that once the psycologist gave me an exact diagnosis, we should be all she needs. I have a good feeling I will be approved, I have turned in every medical record that I have, got written letters from family and friends detailing my disabilty but I was wondering if you suggest anything else I could do to make my case better? It has been a year since I applied and Im just starting to get a little nervous. Are these disorders plus my “attacks” and physical disorders enough to possibly get approved for disability?

    Thanks,
    Valerie

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Valerie,

      It was a good idea to get the mental examination done in order to hopefully speed up the processing of your claim. The remark by the examiner about receiving the diagnosis seems hopeful. Without seeing your claim file, I can’t say whether there is anything you could submit related to your physical limitations that are not connected to your mental disorder that could help the claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Valerie says:

        Thanks Kay,

        Also, the psycologist only gave me a bunch of written tests for the mental exam. Is that normal?I thought he was going to ask me questions to see how well I remember and things of that nature. He said he faxed the results over to my examiner. Is it possible that a written test is all that they need or should I ask for more testing??

        Thanks,
        Valerie

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Valerie,

          The written test is probably a psychological evaluation to diagnose whether a mental illness is present and, if so, what. A memory test would likely be testing for a cognitive disorder such as dementia or the after effects of a traumatic brain injury. If the written test was a thorough assessment, it may be all that is needed for them to make a decision on your claim.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Valerie says:

            Dear Kay, Thanks for your response.I talked with my disability examiner and she said she forwarded my records from the psycologist to the doctor for review.Is this the last step to find out if I am approved or not? Around How long does this process usually take? If approved, will I possibly recieve payment by next month?

            Thanks again,
            Valerie

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Valerie,

            Assuming the doctor finds everything in order for the recommended approval or denial decision, your claim she be in the final phase of review. If you are approved for Social Security Disability, it takes two to three months for payments to start. If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), payment, which is authorized out of your local office, typically take one to two months to start. All time frames are estimates only.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  133. Crystal says:

    HI Kay
    I was wondering, I applied for disabiltiy in October of 2014,
    they had called me 0n 12-29-14 and ask me if the last time I was at a
    doctor was in May. but that was not true, I was in october. why wouldnt they have my up to date file. and i ask if they was sending me to there doctor and she said no. Is that a bad sign. I have scolios and i also was born with a birth defect called klippel-feil syndrome, but I never let it stop me from working, as I am getting older my body can’t handle the work i used to do. I was cna.
    thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Crystal,

      It is hard to say why the Disability Determination Services doesn’t have your records, but I do suggest that you call the examiner and ask if he or she needs your recent medical records; and, if so, whether he or she needs you to get them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  134. s. berry says:

    My son has applied for SSI he has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. They told us his application was in its last stage that it was sent to the doctors what does this mean.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear S.,

      Your son’s claim has been reviewed by the disability claims examiner and has been sent to a staff physician for review of the examiner’s recommended decision. Once the physician reviews it, either your son will receive a decision or the physician will recommend more investigation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  135. Louis says:

    I had a Consultative Examination today and from what I read the doctor doing the exam usually only does a 10 minute exam. I was with the doctor for almost 50 minutes. He did a bunch of things and when we went into his actual office I noticed on the diagnosis paper he put depression, poly neuropathy , mono neuropathy and 3 other things I couldn’t make out. He then said to me I have conditions that need to be treated and he said I will write you up a good report but you have to be patient. Does this sound like this could go my way? Also I have a question I don’t work and am separated from my spouse how would that work if I was to be accepted? Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Louis,

      It sounds as if the consulting physician plans to write up that you are limited by your various conditions, but it will still take a while to get a decision. Be aware that Social Security considers the doctor’s report but they do not ask the doctor whether you are disabled–only what their findings are. I do not understand what you are asking in your second question.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  136. Freddy says:

    I applied for disability a while back and I put on the application Arthritis and depression. They sent me to a psychiatrist and she asked me questions like what does a banana and an apple have in common, what does a chair and table have in common etc. Then asked me to remember things, who the current gov. was etc My question is what does any of these questions have to do with depression? Also How can one tell if someone is depressed when only spending 10 minutes with them?
    I have a physical CE later this week. What kinds of things do they do during a physical CE ? I dont currently see a doctor is there away to see some kind of doctor without insurance? I only have share of costs
    thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Freddy,

      I suggest that you investigate whether there is a free or low-cost clinic and/or mental health center in your area where you can be seen. Next fall during the next open enrollment period, I suggest that you apply for insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). You may qualify for a government subsidy for the premiums.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • cat says:

        Hi kay ive been fighting ss since 2010 the hospital. Signed me up ive been denied well after about 4 denials going befor a judge. I get a letter fron three big letters to fill out a lot of questiobs and a week ago i got a letter to go have a physical exzam abd xrays performed. I did it all im just tired now is his a good thing this is the first time ive been thorough. This as far as receiving any mail directly from ss whats going on the doctor at the exam said i was in bad shape can u shed any light for me ease

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Cat,

          It appears that your claim is being thoroughly investigated. If you are disabled, a thorough investigation is to your advantage.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  137. Patricia says:

    Hello Kay,
    I recently applied for SSDI after being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I have not worked since 9/2012 due to being let go from my job and it has been hard to find employment (my opinon, I think due to my age 58). I’ve had issues (hypertension and psoriasis and arthritis) for a while but continued to work then. Now the arthritis has started to deteriorate my joints and I am no longer able to work on the computer, walk or even sit for periods of time. My question is, because I’ve worked with some of these conditions previously (that have gotten worse, since unemployed) will this disqualify me from SSDI?

    Sincerely,
    Patricia

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Patricia,

      Your having worked with active medical conditions will not disqualify you. Your claim will be evaluated on your current condition. If, however, you put your reason for stopping work as being laid off for non-medical reasons, it could be advisable to also make the statement that your condition has worsened since you last worked.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  138. 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

  139. 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 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

  140. 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

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Donna,

          There appears to be some possibility that you could be approved.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Donna Reynolds says:

            I was contacted by the Examiner in Nashville who wanted to go over my retail work experience. He went into great detail and, until then, I didn’t appreciate how physical my work had been. He said he would then be forwarding my case to the ‘vocational department’, then I would receive notification of a decision. This was in early 11/14. My attorney notified me that the case had left DD on 11/20, but no one has heard anything yet. I’ve called 3 times, but haven’t heard anything, nor has my attorney. Any advice? Why would he take such time in asking about my previous work if the case was to be sent to the vocational department anyhow? This is such a frustrating process.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Donna,

            If you applied for Social Security Disability and the case left the Disability Determination Services in November and you haven’t heard anything, you might check with the local office to see whether the claim is now in the payment center, which would be an indication of approval. It can take one to three months for the payment center to authorize payment.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • DONNA REYNOLDS says:

            Just got a letter of approval. Thank you for all you do, Kay. This website is the most informative and helpful site I’ve visited and, trust me, I’ve scoured the Internet for almost 2 years!

            Have a wonderful 2015 and thank you, once again!

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Donna,

            You are welcome and thank you for the update. I am glad you were approved.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  141. 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

  142. 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

  143. 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

  144. 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

  145. 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

  146. 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.

  147. 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

  148. 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

  149. 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

  150. 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!

  151. 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

  152. 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

  153. 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

  154. 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

  155. 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

  156. 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

  157. 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 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

  158. 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

  159. 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

  160. 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

  161. 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

  162. 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

  163. 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

  164. 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.

  165. 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

  166. 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

  167. 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

  168. 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

  169. 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 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

  170. 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

  171. 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

  172. 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

  173. 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.

  174. 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

  175. 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

      • Dennis says:

        From Reading all the materials presented and issues to overcome with SSDI. I sometimes wonder how I got approved the very first time and workers compensation was continuing my Psychologist appointments. I went everyday for 3 years and now once every two weeks. When I first applied I filled out the application and by the way it was like a book after it was done. I then sent it into them and viola I was approved for disability concerning my PTSD. I worked for the state at the time I was nearly beaten to death by a prisoner.

        It only took 30 days for approval. I just received a short form CDR to fill out. I sent it in and they wrote back saying there is no need for review at this time. Not sure what that meant but it was sent to my on my third year collecting. Now I guess it will be another 7 years before I hear from them again. I would be 66 years old and it will turn into regular retirement.

        I also get state disability after three years it will also turn into a retirement. I just don’t understand people with actual physical ailments that are undeniable are taken through SSDI doctors and all I did was schedule myself for an in network workers comp psychologist. I guess SSDI accepted his diagnosis thus keeping me from the SSDI Doctor and allowing my private psychologist for updates.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Dennis,

          It sounds as if you were approved “easily” because you had very frequent and consistent psychiatric care, your mental health care provider kept very good records, and you did a thorough job of completing your application forms.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  176. 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

    • Debra says:

      Ive just gotten the same request. How did yours go

  177. 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

          • Sean says:

            Well my wife had to go to apt for a ce cause a pysch doctor wanted to revie her case and they had ask me questions about her then took her int he room ask her questions is that good or bad idk t

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Sean,

            The examination seems to have been conducted in a routine manner. I cannot predict whether your wife will be approved or not.

            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

      • marsha says:

        Im 60yrs old been workin sence i was15. In Sept2014 I was diagnosed with severe AR in my right knee. Some days i cant walk. I apply for SSD in Sept2014. They told me i had plenty enough points. they sending me to their doctor for examination of my knee and foot. They have my me c ial re c ords. I didn’t go to the doctor very much, but i been goin to the same doctor sence 1995. Do you think i be aprove

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Marsha,

          Whether or not you are approved will depend on your limitations as related to the job requirements of occupations you have done in the past and also your education, training, and other factors that determine whether at your age you could adapt to a different kind of work.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Sheila K says:

            Hello ! I am 55 years old. I had cervical and lumbar spine surgery in 2014. After the lumbar surgery, I have had partial numbness of my left leg and foot with horrible cramping and stabbing sharp pains. I have spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. I applied for ssdi in December 2014. I recently was sent for a CE. The doctor I saw was rude, would ask me a question, then cut me off when I was answering. He also acted like he would rather be somewhere else. When he was doing the straight leg test, I told him it hurt but he just kept raising my leg. Everything he had me do, I tried. If I could not do it, he would have me maneuver around until I could come close to doing it. He kept asking my age, which I thought was odd. Any way, my question is do you think he was doing all this (ie I could not squat, so he kept having my spread legs apart until I could almost do it) to say I was perfectly fine and could work? Have you heard of anyone having such a horrid exam like this and the Dr. actually confirming my claim?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Sheila,

            I am not an expert on physical examinations so I really can’t comment on the doctor’s intent or what his report will be. A consulting physician is supposed to be impartial and simply report his findings; he does not make a decision whether to approve or deny a claim. The claims examiner reviews the report and considers it together with all the other information in your claim file to arrive at a decision.

            If you are denied, request a copy of your claim file, which will include the report and the exact reasoning behind the denial. (If you want to appeal, be sure to appeal within the sixty days even if you have not received a copy of your claim file as yet.) If you decide to appeal after reading the decision, I suggest that you obtain a good Social Security lawyer to help you with the appeal. 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 the retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

    • Fred says:

      HI Kim I have quit a few issue that I file a Disability claim for as PTSD, ADHD, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, Somnia, Altuzm just to a few so SSA SENT ME TO a psychiatrist and I definitely could understand why but about three week after my SSA psychiatrist visit I get a letter from the Disability Determination Service saying that the SSA has forward my disability claim to them for a Determination but after review of my claim they find that a ( SPECIAL MEDICAL EXAMINATION) is needed so they scheduled me an examination but this is not a psychiatrist kinda Dr. I think it’s like a really MD. so I guess what I’m asking is why would they send me to a really MD. and all my disability are to the Psychiatrist type of Dr should I be worried that they my be about to denied me or is this considered normal Thank’s for any response and sorry for the miss spelling of any word another issue of mine if it was not for auto spelling then I would not have got this out

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Fred,

        Perhaps your records indicated the possibility of a physical disability and they want to gather information about that. Be sure to let the disability examiner know about any reading or writing limitations you might have. Do be sure you attend the appointment, but you can also ask why you are being sent to the second doctor, that is, what is being evaluated.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • jamie says:

      i signed up for ssdi in march 2015….i had worked like 16 yrs as a line cook..im only 42 yrs of age and i have copd i went to a pulmonologist…sent by my primary physician….i was put on a series of steroids…and put on 2 new inhalers qvar and spiriva. my fev1 was a 1.5 and im 6″2 at 298 im not really sure what all this means but from what i have read in the ss bluebook i meet the criteria for my ssdi. i also have high blood pressure,high cholesterol..and i have a leg and foot injury due to being shot years ago and i have a bullet in my femur still……i have a great deal of pain daily especially when it rains or its real cold. i have numbess and tingling in my toes and i recently had x rays that also show some digenertive in my hip area from limping and favoring that leg all these yrs. anyhow to make a long story short i was just recently sent for an internal exam and next week im being sent to a mental exam because im on celexa for some depression. which most would have as well if u could no longer breath and work and because of this….i have become homeless….i have not worked since like the beginning of 2013…its been real difficult….anyhow i guess my question is do u think i have a good chance of being approved? ithis is my second go around….last time i applied i didnt have as much concrete evidence…..and or insurance..thanks to a good friend she has helped me this past yr get medical insurance finally and food assist. i go to my family doctor every month for refills on meds including pain meds…and im still following up with the pulmonologist as well….do u think i have a chance this go around with an approval? thankyou

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Jamie,

        Yes, I think you have a chance of being approved for benefits. It will depend in part on your educational background and whether you can perform sedentary jobs. If you are denied, consider appealing with legal help. 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 the retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • jamie says:

          thankyou very much kay for your response i really appreciate it…….on to the waiting lol im ready and will take this information u have given me….also im thankful for my friends help as well…..with her help and your knowledge on this disability stuff i think i have all my ducks in a row lol thanks again and i will post my outcome hopefully soon! have a great memorial weekend!

        • Kera says:

          Hi Kay I’ve been receiving social security benefits since 2011 I had the same doctor since I was approved recently in 2015 my Dr moved so I wasn’t seeing a doctor for the whole year of 2015 and I wasn’t on any of my medication I just recently at the end of 2015 December 1st 2 January 22nd I was in the hospital because I had a serious episode due to my mental illness when I was in the hospital Social Security sent me review papers saying that they were reviewing my case for 2015 I don’t have any evidence for 2015 that would prove my disability because I wasn’t seeing a doctor ever since I got out the hospital I hope that with the psychiatrist that I’m seeing now but it’s only Been one visit so far please tell me while they’re reviewing my case are they going to deny me or are they going to send me to one of their psychiatrist to get more information thank you please tell me asap

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Kera,

            Your claim was likely set for a medical review at five years when your claim was approved. With a recent hospitalization and a current psychiatrist, it is unlikely you will be sent to a consultative examination. Be sure to explain why you didn’t look for a doctor to replace the one who moved and also point out your lack of treatment worsened your condition. If there was a build-up over time to the hospitalization in December 2015, describe that, too. If you have relatives or friend who saw you fairly regularly and saw signs of illness or being unemployable during 2015, have them make statements, too.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

    • Phillip oduro says:

      Hello mr kay i wanted to ask u if am approve for disability can i travel out of the country for more than three months at a time.and when you collecting disability do they give you appointments to attend.

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Phillip,

        If you receive Social Security, the benefits are payable while you are out of the country, depending on your citizen or alien status and depending on the country you are visiting or residing in.If you are receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), benefits will be suspended if you are out of the country for either a full calendar month or thirty days. Benefits do not resume until you have been back in the U.S. for thirty days. More information is available at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10137.pdf.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  178. My wife went to the SS Doctor more than 3 years ago for her mental health evaluation. When she began treatment at a local mental health clinic, to her surprise her phyciatrist was the same SS Doctor! He worked for both sides, so to speak. For 2 years he signed a form for the welfare stating that she was too mentally I’ll to work but when her case went before the ALJ he testified that she COULD work! How is this possible or legal?

  179. Kay Derochie says:

    Dear Rick,

    The law for welfare payments may be different froom the law for Social Security with different questions being asked. That said,I think your wife needs legal advice from a good Social Security attorney.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

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