If you’re in a position where you need to apply for social security disability benefits, it can be a stressful time. You are already in a state where you are concerned about how to provide for yourself and your family. To top it off, the process can be confusing and frustrating.
In fact, nearly 70% of social security disability applicants are denied the first time. By getting a lawyer involved and appealing your case the right away, many people are successful the second time. But that doesn’t mean that you can skip any steps – you may be required to complete a consultative examination with an SSA-approved physician.
How to Approach Your Disability Consultative Exam
Do Not Downplay Your Pain or Limitation to a Disability Doctor
It’s completely understandable to be nervous when you are going into your consultative exam. After all, what you tell the doctor will be relayed to the disability examiner, and they are in a position to approve or deny your application.
The good news is, simply telling the truth during your exam is the best way for it to go smoothly. But that honesty means being very open about your health issues and limitations. So many people have a natural tendency to say they are “doing good” or are “just fine” – this is a common question in life and you may have a canned answer. But when in front of a doctor, if your health is not fine, don’t lead on that it is.
The same goes for pain thresholds that the doctor might assess. Again, it’s easy for someone to say that the pain isn’t bad, as that is a natural reaction when asked by another person. But with a doctor, an accurate representation of the actual pain is the best way to go. If you are hurting, the doctor needs to get a feel for how much pain you are actually experiencing.
Remember, when you are applying for disability benefits, you are essentially saying that your injury or limitation is so much that you are unable to work. So if you try to appear tough and downplay your actual condition, the doctor may not feel that you are truly incapable of returning to work.
Do Not Exaggerate Your Pain or Limitation to a Disability Doctor
While downplaying your pain may not be in your best interest when talking to a disability doctor, it is also not wise to exaggerate your condition. If you are truly not in enough pain to be able to be off of work, then the truth will come out and you will be denied. It is quite possible that you should be approved for disability, but overplaying your pain will make your case appear suspect.
Doctors have seen it all when it comes to patients trying to play the game. Do yourself and them a favor and not insult them. Stating that your pain is a 10 out of 10 and that you have pain all over at all times is a red flag. While you may have actual pain, an accurate self-assessment is necessary. There may be times or positions when the pain is a 10 out of 10, but you need to be honest about when that is – otherwise the doctor could report that you were not believable in your exam.
Doctors are very good at understanding injuries, and your level of pain and placement of pain should be consistent with what they know to be a fact with your specific injury.
Stick To the Facts with a Disability Doctor
Avoid wild exaggerations or stating that you don’t understand why you even need to be examined. This may be your opinion, but it opens the door for the doctor to be suspicious of your motives.
Allowing the doctor to perform the examination and sticking to the facts around your injury, how it happened, your level of pain etc is going to be the best route. You may have already been denied or feel you have been given the runaround by your employer or the insurance company, but the doctor’s office is not the time to vocalize that frustration.
Social Security Disability Benefits Application Help
If you are looking to apply for social security disability benefits or have been denied benefits, getting a lawyer on your side early is essential. An experienced social security disability attorney can help organize your case and put you in the best position to succeed and ultimately be approved.
Whether the consultative exam didn’t go well or you need help in another aspect of your application process, the professionals at Tabak Law are ready to help today. Call 844-432-0114 or fill out a form on this page to get help with your benefits today.