What Happens at a Physical Exam for Disability?

Published on December 7th, 2017

When you apply for Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it’s necessary to supply the SSA with medical records that detail the extent of your disability as well as your prognosis for the future. In the best cases, the medical records are enough to prove your disability and win you the benefits you need. However, in other cases the SSA might decide that more medical information is required before it can make a determination. In these cases, especially when the case involves a possible physical disability, the SSA can request for you to take a medical disability exam before making a final decision.

Medical Conditions for SSD

What Happens During a Physical Disability Exam?

During a SSA-requested disability exam, you can pretty much expect the same sort of things to happen that would happen at any physical exam. The doctor will check your basic vitals, such as your blood pressure, heart rate, weight and breathing. In addition, though, the physician will conduct a more thorough exam that focuses on the specific physical disability in question. This can include such things as mobility or stress tests. Furthermore, if any tests or exams have been specifically ordered by the SSA disability examiner, the physician will conduct those tests as part of the examination as well.

What Happens After the Physical Disability Exam?

After the exam is completed, the physician who conducted the tests will have to submit his or her findings to the SSA. The report will include thorough documentation of the medical claim in question, the various tests administered and the results of those tests. Based on this information, the doctor will also submit a written statement detailing your current physical abilities and disabilities, and your possible future recovery.

Once this statement is sent in, then the SSA disability examiner will review your case and use this new, updated information to make a final determination as to whether or not you are to be granted disability benefits.

What Else Is There To Know?

While this is pretty straight-forward, you might have some other questions or concerns about the process. Here are some other things to remember:

– This examination is not meant to be any sort of treatment. It is simply being ordered because your medical records were insufficient, or out of date. For instance, if your most recent exam is out of date (typically, more than 60 days old) the SSA might request this examination even if your claim is pretty solid. This is why it’s always important to keep your records as up to date as possible.

– Even though this post is about physical examinations, the SSA can also request applicants to undergo mental evaluations when it’s deemed necessary. The procedure in this instance is pretty much the same.

– It’s important that you show up on to your examination on time. More than once, an applicant has shown up late and the examiner has chosen not to conduct the exam. In this case, if the applicant never is able to get the exam completed, the can be denied altogether.

– If you feel that the examination was unfair — maybe because the examiner seemed hostile towards you or did not do his or her job completely — you can appeal the decision and possibly have it overturned.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, a disability exam might be required before your case can be approved, but this is not anything to worry about for those who have a legitimate disability. After a simple, and routine, medical exam, the information provided can be the final piece of the puzzle to help you get the benefits that you need and are deserved. If you’d like to know more about this, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!


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