Advice For Your Social Security Disability Consultative Examination
Lower your Expectations and Adjust Your Attitude
Social security disability applicants typically have unrealistic expectations of the consultative exam. Many see the CE as an indication that social security is finally taking their complaint seriously and wrongly assume the CE will be thorough and will cover all their disabling impairments both physical and mental.
As noted above, the CE will be very limited in scope and duration, perhaps in a crowded and unattractive office setting. The CE is apt to feel more like a cattle call than a professional medical treatment office.
Presenting to your CE with unrealistic expectations will likely lead to disappointment and frustration. Many disability claimants allow that frustration to show, creating tension between the claimant and the examiner. A claimant that communicates disappointment and anger with the examiner is less likely to find the examiner receptive to their cause.
Many consultative examiners are unwilling to review medical records that claimants bring to the examination. This can be frustrating to claimants, but realize that consultative doctors often see claimants who try to unload stacks of unorganized medical treatment notes on the doctor, or even bring actual radiographic images.
If there are specific objective medical tests such as x-rays or MRI results reports that document the problem for which the consultative doctor is examining you, be prepared with those most recent results at hand.
Can You Do Any Other Type Of Work
The DDS looks to see if you could do some other type of work, despite your disability. It evaluates your age, education, medical condition , work experience, and any skills you may have that could be used to do some other work. If you cannot, they will determine that you are disabled. But if you can do other work , then you are deemed not disabled and, therefore, ineligible for SSD benefits.
What To Tell The Doctor At Your Consultative Exam
When you go to a consultative exam for Social Security, know that the doctor is not on your side and may be trying to collect information to deny your claim. Be very wary of what you say, because your words and actions can be used against you.
Above all else, don’t minimize your condition. You won’t be doing yourself any favors if you downplay the severity of your pain or other symptoms. If, during the examination, the doctor asks, “How does it feel when I do this?” explain exactly where the pain occurs and how intense it is.
The doctor might ask what you can and can’t do in terms of your daily activities. If you have “good days and bad days” with your symptoms, explain how you feel on your bad days. After all, those are the days that will prevent you from working.
Of course, you need to be honest, and certainly don’t be tempted to exaggerate your symptoms. But most people actually err in the opposite direction: they minimize their condition out of embarrassment or fear that they’ll be seen as a “complainer.”
Finally, if you’re worried that you’ll forget to mention something important to the consulting doctor, make a list before the appointment. Include all the things you struggle with on a day-to-day basis, from shopping and preparing meals to lifting, standing, sitting, and walking.
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How Do I Get Approved For Ssdi Or Ssi Benefits
Are Video Visits With A Disability Evaluation Doctor Online Covered By My Insurance
Most insurers provide coverage for video visits at the same cost as in-person visits. You can search on Zocdoc specifically for Disability Evaluation doctors who accept your insurance for video visits by selecting your carrier and plan from the drop-down menu at the top of the page. We recommend you check with your insurance carrier directly to confirm your coverage and out of pocket costs for video visits.
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Challenges With Disability System
The definitions of disability vary by organization. The American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment was first published as a series of articles in 1958. The intent was to standardize criteria for assessment and classification of impairment, but consistency remains a problem.17 Many of the skills necessary to diagnose and assess functional capacity are not taught in medical school. Physicians are also concerned about the time required to complete disability forms, insufficient reimbursement, patient malingering, and disruption of the physician-patient relationship in the case of an unfavorable outcome for the patient.1820
Seeing More Than One Specialist
Most people who make a disability claim are doing so because of one disability, but if you are suffering from multiple disabilities it cannot hurt to have the opinions of multiple specialists on file. For example if you are applying for disability based on being paralyzed but also have asthma or another condition, seeing a specialist for each of these will help. When the SSA makes a determination on a disability claim, they take into consideration all information you have provided them. The more information you give them, the better chance you have of having your disability claim approved.
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Contact Gillette Law Group
Having a doctor assess your disability can very often become challenging. It is not uncommon for SSA applicants to encounter doctors who are uncaring, impatient, or outright hostile, making their patients feel uncomfortable about speaking up for themselves. Sometimes, even friendly physicians provide unfavorable opinions on disability claimants.
Protect yourself by having a lawyer on your side. In Virginia, you can consult for free with us at the Gillette Law Group. We have helped numerous Virginians succeed in every step of their disability claim, including doctors evaluations. Call us at 806-4269 today.
Successful Richmond Ssd Lawyers
In order to have your claim accepted and begin obtaining social security disability benefits, you may be required to submit documentation from a medical professional to support your claim. This documentation will detail the extent of your condition, including how it is impacting your life, and be considered as verifying evidence by the Social Security Administration.
If you need assistance filing for social security disability benefits, it is important to review your case with a skilled Richmond Social Security disability attorney. At Harbison & Kavanagh, our team of attorneys have substantial experience helping Virginia residents apply to receive the income they need to help them continue to live comfortably despite their inability to work. We have considerable knowledge of the Social Security application process, and we can help you submit a carefully-prepared application to maximize the chances of your claim being accepted the first time.
Before applying for Social Security disability benefits, call Harbison & Kavanagh today at 888-8000 and let us review your case for free!
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Important Information For You To Submit For Your Claim
If you have a very severe illness or injury listed in the Social Securitys Listings and you submit records to document your diagnosis and the severity of your condition, you may be approved at Step Four of the disability evaluation process. If you dont meet the Listings, you have another opportunity to be approved for benefits. At that point, Step Five in the evaluation, information about your work history and education become very important.
You are more likely to be successful with your Social Security claim if you know how the Social Security Administration evaluates for disability. With that knowledge, you will recognize the information you need to provide to support your claim.
Who Completes The Consultative Examination
If you have a treating doctor and he or she has the required skills and equipment to perform the exam, the SSA will issue a request that your doctor complete it. However, your doctor may refuse to do so. If this happens, the DDS will arrange the exam with another doctor. In addition, if the DDS does not have confidence in your doctor or if the agency is attempting to clear up any confusion in the report issued by your treating doctor, or if you simply want to see another doctor for this appointment, you will be assigned another doctor.
Any individual performing the consultative examination must be a licensed physician in private practice, or operating under a licensed doctors supervision.
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Consider Contacting An Attorney
Make no mistake: Social Security’s consulting doctor is not on your side. That’s why it usually makes sense to hire an experienced disability attorney to represent you. The disability claims process is complicated, confusing, and sometimes seems like it’s stacked against you. Hiring a lawyer can tilt the scales back in your favor.
Is Your Medical Condition On The List Of Impairments
The DDS refers to the LOI to see if your condition is listed. If it is, then it automatically means that you are disabled as defined by law. If it isnt, then the DDS looks to see if your condition is as severe as a condition that is on the list. If it is, then they will consider you to be disabled. If it isnt, they go on to
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Gaps In Knowledge/ Evidence Base
Our Social Security Lawyers Are Here To Help With Your Claim For Benefits
While psychological testing can provide valuable evidence to support your claim for Social Security benefits, the best indicator of disability is how your condition limits you during the course of your everyday life. To find out how to build a strong disability case that will get your application approved, download and read through our free guide, 5 Deadly Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Social Security Disability Case.
If your disability is preventing you from working and you’d like to file an application for benefits, or if your previous application has been denied and you need to file an appeal, contact our office online or call 933-5405 today for a free, no-obligation evaluation with one of our experienced Omaha social security lawyers.
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State Whether You Would Miss Any Work
The SSA can find you disabled if you can’t work on a regular basis for a 40-hour workweek. As such, your doctor should discuss whether fatigue or pain would cause you to miss any days of work. Your doctor should include how many days of work you would miss in a typical month. For example, your doctor could explain that:
- you experience ongoing flare-ups of pain from your back impairment
- the pain can’t be effectively controlled by medication, and
- the level of pain is so severe that it prevents you from performing work activities for at least three days a month.
How Your Doctor Can Help Determine Your Residual Functional Capacity
An RFC is a detailed assessment of your ability to perform certain work-related activities in light of your symptoms. Your RFC is the most intensive work you can do on a regular and sustained basis. RFCs can be either physical or mental assessments.
Your claims examiner and a medical consultant who works for the SSA will create an RFC for you using the objective medical evidence in your file. But it helps if your doctor also submits an RFC form for you. If your condition doesn’t meet a listing, then RFCs are one of the most important things that your doctors can provide for you.
Remember, though, that doctors’ RFCs must be supported by objective medical evidence for the SSA to give them consideration otherwise, the SSA can disregard them.
How To Find A Doctor To Help With Disability Documentation
Tips for finding a doctor who can help you with documenting your disability:
Start with the Doc You Already Got
It is not necessary to go to a special doctor to get approved for disability. Any doctor can help you, if they support you and they want to help. Even a doctor who has not yet figured out the cause of all your symptoms or how to treat them, can still be a great help for a disability application. If you are not certain if your doctor supports your disability application, its helpful to find out as soon as possible. How to Tell What Your Doctor REALLY Thinks
Some doctors have an office policy that they wont complete any disability paperwork. Before giving up, you may wish to check out these ideas for: How To Get Your Doctor to Fill Out Paperwork
Cant Get to the Doc?
If you cant get to the doctor because you lack money, insurance, transportation, or the ability to get out of bed: I Cannot Get to the Doctor
Recommended by Readers
Heres a long list of doctors recommended by readers who got approved for disability. The majority of responses came from people who were diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. We also received responses from people with Lyme, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Mast Cell Activation, POTS, psychiatric conditions, and other ailments: What doctor was the most helpful for your disability approval?
Take a Trip
Try a Nurse Practitioner
Ask a Lawyer
What Your Doctor Should Put In A Physical Rfc
Here are some examples of the things that a physical RFC should discuss:
- how much you can lift and how often
- how much you can carry and how often
- how long you can sit down
- how long you can stand
- how far you can walk
- any environmental restrictions
- any postural restrictions , and
- sensory limitations .
You can download a physical RFC form from our website to give to your doctor to complete, or if you have an attorney or disability advocate, they will provide one to your doctor. To learn more about how your doctor can help determine your physical RFC, see our article on getting your doctor to fill out an RFC form.
Cutting Edge/ Unique Concepts/ Emerging Issues
How To Find A Good Disability Doctor
Many disability applicants can count on their current personal doctor to provide supporting evidence on their disability. But if you currently dont have a physician or if you are seeking one who can help you better, there are ways to find the right disability doctor for you.
One is by contacting your medical insurance provider for a list of doctors covered in your area. These doctors are typically listed by specialization, so you can easily narrow your search. You can also get recommendations from your family and friends, or from people you know in the medical field. These recommendations can be an advantage because they are from people you trust and they make it easy for you to build a connection with the doctor.
A more convenient way of finding a disability doctor is to search on the internet. Numerous websites provide free lists of doctors, even organizing them by location, specialty, and rate. Make sure to check the credentials and history of each potential physician you are planning to contact.
If Your Patient Has A Terminal Illness
For the purposes of CPP, a terminal medical condition is a disease state that cannot be cured or adequately treated and is reasonably expected to result in death within 6 months.
If your patient has a terminal illness, please complete a Terminal Illness Medical Attestation. Terminal illness applications receive priority handling.
Are Raters Always Right
The answer is no. Raters are not always right. Raters, for the most part, do an outstanding job. When an Injured Worker has a claim with multiple reports for different body parts, the Raters have to go through hundreds of pages of medical reports to complete a rating. At times, it can be a very daunting task. It is very difficult and they do excellent work putting together these varying opinions into a rating.
On a rare occasion, however, there can be a discrepancy in a rating. Many times, the discrepancies can be the result of a missing document or incomplete information provided to the rater. Raters are only as good as the documentation they are provided to analyze. It is recommended that the parties take the time and review DEU Ratings for accuracy.
For Formal Ratings, the parties are allowed to cross-examine the Disability Evaluation Rater. This cross-examination is done as part of the Trial before a Workers Compensation Judge.
I have had the opportunity to cross-examine DEU Raters. In some of those circumstances, I was able to get them to change their opinion. As noted above, however, DEU Raters are very knowledgeable and it is not easy to get them to change their mind.