When you apply for Supplemental Security disability insurance (SSDI) through the Social Security Administration, you must meet the requirements for eligibility in order to receive benefits. If you have a qualifying disability that prevents you from working, the process of applying for benefits can be challenging and can involve a medical examination.
If you require disability benefits to support your basic needs, having your application accepted can positively change your life, while having it denied can result in you being unable to receive the support you need. You should discuss every step of the process, including your exam, with an Orange County disability attorney to best be prepared.
Collecting Social Security benefits sometimes requires that you attend a medical exam, often called a consultative exam. Such exams usually happen when the evidence provided is not sufficiently strong for the claim to be approved based upon the evidence alone. The SSA can require an exam to collect further information about your disability.
Independent physicians process the consultative exams for the Social Security Administration, not actual employees of the Social Security Administration. The information collected at the exam will be used in conjunction with the evidence you present to determine the outcome of your application.
These exams can be physical, psychiatric, or psychological and may also include ophthalmological exams, blood work, or x-rays. Oftentimes, the first time these doctors see a patient is for their exam, and so they are not familiar with the patient or their unique conditions and facts.
Because the physician is not directly affiliated with the SSA, you might not think what you say to them is critical to your application as long as they understand your medical condition. However, everything you say can potentially be documented, and it can be reported back to the SSA. Be aware of how you answer questions regarding:
- Your daily activity level
- Pain and discomfort that you feel
- Your abilities to sit, stand, walk, and lift
- How well you could (or could not) perform your last job
- The amount of assistance you need with daily tasks
If you say something that is inconsistent with the information you provided on your application, it can result in a denial.
If your application for SSI has been denied, the first step to take is the reconsideration process. If your benefits were denied or not paid out as much as you were expecting, you can request a reconsideration. Under this process, a different person reviews your application and comes to a second decision.
Having help from an SSA disability lawyer can help you clarify any inconsistencies that led to the denial, such as a comment made in the examination. Knowing how and when to appeal is critical to the outcome of your application, and an experienced Social Security disability lawyer can help. Contact us today.