Monday, May 19, 2008

Can you Say the Wrong thing at a Social Security Disability CE examination?

Someone wrote this in a forum recently (I'm paraphrasing) : "I have a CE exam for my SS disability claim that was filed on the basis of bipolar. I am worried that I might say the wrong thing, or not say the right thing, or not be taken seriously. This begs the question. Can you say the wrong thing during a CE exam?

My answer to that--and, mind you, this is just my own answer and opinion based on my subjective experience of having been a disability examiner--is no. You really can't say the wrong thing at a physical CE (consultative exam, otherwise known as a social security disability medical exam). And to be honest, the examining physical isn't really that interested in talking to you, versus examining you so he can submit his CE report. On the other hand, if you feel discomfort or pain, or have difficulty with range of motion in a joint, or have trouble getting onto the examining table, you shouldn't minimize this either.

Let me elaborate. The last thing you want to do at a physical consultative exam is exaggerate your condition by going on and on about it. Why? Some of the doctors who perform CEs for social security have a negative bias against disability claimants (which brings up the question, why the heck are they doing these exams anyway? Answer: easy money). And appearing as if you're trying to embellish the effects of your condition may only activate the examining physician's built-in bias.

However, by the same token, you shouldn't try to hide your pain or discomfort or appear as if you don't have limitations. You may ask yourself, what individual who is filing for disability would try to minimize their problems when they are being seen at a medical exam? It happens all the time. And it seems to happen on the part of older individuals who, perhaps, are a little embarrassed to be applying for disability. However, applying for disability is not something anyone should feel embarrassed about. The truth is, social security disability benefits are not a handout. They are benefits provided by insurance, insurance that you pay for through your FICA deductions.

So, back to the question, the answer is:

1. Don't embellish your condition when speaking to a doctor at an exam.

2. Don't hide your pain or discomfort or limitations either.

3. Just answer the doctor's questions honestly and fully.

Now, in this post we've discussed physical social security exams. Question: can you say the wrong thing at a social security disability mental exam? And the answer to that question is in a near-future post.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

Other Posts

Social Security Disability List of Impairments
Social Security Disability SSI Status
What does Social Security Disability consider a Mental Impairment?
How many people win Disability Benefits from Social Security?
Social Security Disability Requirements
Will I Qualify for Social Security Disability?
Qualifications for Disability - Social Security (work credits) and SSI
SSI Application for Disability Benefits
Filing for Disability with Fibromyalgia
Qualifying for Disability - How difficult are the Qualifications?
Application for Disability - SSD and SSI applications
Social Security Disability List of Impairments
Application Requirements For SSI Disability
Disability Requirements - The Criteria for Social Security Disability and SSI
How to Qualify for Disability - social security disability or SSI
Are there disability benefits for children?
Social Security Disability Eligibility
Who is eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI Disability?
Correct Steps for Filing a Social Security Disability Claim
Getting Disability - Social Security Disability and SSI
Tips for Filling out a Social Security Disability Application
How Does Social Security Decide Your Disability Claim ?


OpenID katharinakatt said...

I think while you maybe "can't" say the wrong thing to a Dr, you can certainly have a BAD Dr review you and this can hurt your case it seems. During my first application process which did go to hearing I was sent for psychological examination with a state designated Dr. My condition is rare and is called Dissociative Seizure Condition (I'm actually having a hard time being accepted because it falls in a grey area). At the time I also had split personalities but they were doing better so they were a 'side symptom' but not something I said was a disabling factor. The Dr insisted we discuss them. I cooperated. I kept asking when we were going to discuss my seizures. He kept assuring me we would. After the interview which was well over a hour we hadn't discussed the seizures at all and I was worn out, fatigued, and not able to focus well. At the hearing his statements were that he thought I was being untruthful about having split personalities and that I was prolly lying about the rest. WTF? A big slap in the face! Especially since he didn't even do his job right.

Now I'm on my 2nd application and hearing process. I'm scared to death they'll send me to another BAD Dr. Can I refuse to go? That would probably not be a good thing for me to do.

I would love to see your comments on that and also how to deal with disabilities that fall in 'grey areas'.

Keep up the great work, I love your blog. Its very helpful!


3:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home