I was recently asked how long it takes to get a Social Security decision when the judge sends you to a post hearing medical examination (also known as a consultative examination).
In cases where there is no post-hearing consultative examination, I normally estimate it may take 30 to 90 days to get a decision. A post-hearing consultative examination can mean a longer wait to get a hearing decision. Here are my estimates from the day of the hearing: Continue reading An exam AFTER your Social Security hearing – EXPLAINED!
If you are applying for Social Security disability benefits, it is because you have run out of other options. You may have tried doing lighter work, or changing careers, or even tried going back to school. However, you find that you are still not able to work. You don’t want to apply for Social Security disability benefits. You don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy, the forms, and waiting for more than a year for your disability benefits. But, you do not have a choice! And since you paid into Social Security your entire working life, it should be there for you when you need it?
Here are some tips to improve your chances of getting approved for Social Security disability benefits. Continue reading Winning Social Security Disability Benefits
Ever wonder what Social Security consultative examiners – the doctors who meet with disability applications to decide if they are disabled – think of the Social Security disability process?
Writing in Guernica, Dr. Heather Kovich discusses her experiences as a (former) Social Security disability examiner:
There is also a stereotype of the doctors who do this work: lazy and disinterested. I found the job fascinating. The more I learned about the disability system, the more I pondered its complexities: it provides a safety net but keeps people mired in poverty. Helpful services, including job retraining, are available, but aren’t advertised. And the system rests on a deeply flawed premise””that there is a way to objectively determine who is able to work and who is not.
This was my job, “independent medical examiner.” On the basis of a forty-minute interview and examination, I was supposed to determine how disabled an applicant or “claimant” was.
I did hundreds of disability exams over the next year, and while I did meet two people who were obviously faking, for the most part the stories I heard were heartbreaking: car accidents, massive strokes, lost jobs, dead spouses. Many people who apply for disability have lived through a tragedy. But the stories also told of the inefficiencies of the disability system. That first day in Spokane I met a man who had worked in manual labor his whole life, but for years had been getting crushing chest pain after walking a few blocks. His blood pressure was dangerously high. His condition was obviously treatable, but he did not have insurance so he had not been to a doctor in years. He knew that if he qualified for permanent disability he would eventually get Medicare or Medicaid and get proper treatment. He had no idea he could go to a community health center, a federally financed clinic where he could pay on a sliding-scale basis. With the right treatment and a less strenuous job, he would probably have not needed disability. Emphasis added.
This is the catch 22 of the Social Security system: with the health insurance Social Security provides, you might not be disabled. However, without Social Security disability, you can’t get the medical care you need.
This isn’t strictly a Social Security problem, it is US health system problem. Continue reading Social Security consultative examiner speaks out
Social Security has physicians review disability cases as medical consultant’s to make opinions on individual’s abilities and limitations.
However, there are all sorts of doctors: general practitioners, primary care, cardiologists, pulmonologists, rheumatologists, orthopedists, podiatrists, dentists, and the list goes on!
So you have to know WHAT KIND of doctor Social Security used to review your file! What good is the medical consultant’s opinion if they don’t have expertise in with the disability in question.
Continue reading Did Social Security use the RIGHT KIND of doctor?
How do you begin to review your Social Security exhibit file? Here is a quick guide to finding the really important parts.
[media-credit id=2 align=”aligncenter” width=”791″][/media-credit]
If you do not review anything else in the file, you need to know what medical records are there (and what records are missing).
Here is what I look for: Continue reading Reviewing your Social Security exhibit file – Part 1: Medical Records
I was recently asked how long after Social Security sends you to a doctor for a consultative examination will it take to get a decision.
I previously wrote about how long it takes to receive an initial decision after you apply for Social Security disability benefits and how long it takes to get a Social Security hearing. Continue reading Time to a decision after a Social Security medical examination
Here are some common questions I hear when Social Security schedules an evaluation or examination with one of their doctors:
Do I have to attend the consultative examination?
Since you are applying for Social Security benefits, you have a duty to assist Social Security in obtaining the information it needs to evaluate your case. This includes going to evaluations or examination that Social Security may schedule for you.
So, “yes,” you do have to go the examination.
Of course, Social Security cannot make you attend a consultative examination. But if you do not attend, your case may be denied, or even dismissed.
What if I cannot attend the consultative examination?
Continue reading How to reschedule a Social Security disability exam
Has Social Security sent you to a doctor for an examination? Here are some things you should know when going to a consultative examination.
The examination begins earlier than you think: Continue reading Social Security doctor’s exam secrets REVEALED!
Trying to WIN your Social Security disability benefits? Your doctor’s opinion of whether you can or can’t work is critical. If your doctor does not think you can’t work, you are facing an uphill battle in your disability case!
Continue reading Winning Social Security disability with unhelpful doctor