Friday, November 14, 2008

Treated Rudely at a Social Security Disability Psychological Exam

Someone recently posted the following comment on an older page:

"I have a concern regarding my disability claim and I would really appreciate your advice, since I really have no other source for information. I had a psychological exam, after which the psychologist insulted my demeanor and my attitude, I didn't think this was at all appropriate, considering his job with the State. If he insulted me and then wrote a report should I be concerned about what he actually reported? I received a letter from the Bureau of Disability Determination saying that they apologize for his actions but are satisfied with his report, I am not and it concerns me, not knowing what he even reported... what do you think I should do... I am currently trying to get disability after 6 surgeries in the last year
has left me with crippling social anxiety, paranoia and depression and I need disability, so I can get the financial help I need while I get the mental help I desperately need..."

Well, this sort of thing, unfortunately, is not as uncommon as some might think. As a disability examiner, I routinely heard from claimants who informed me that the individual who conducted either their physical or mental consultative exam (CE) had been rude and unprofessional. What happens in instances such as this? Pretty much what the commenter indicated.

If you go to a social security examination and are treated rudely, you may end up getting an apology, but that's the extent of it from your end as a claimant. However, if the disability agency (called DDS, or disability determination services in most states, but known as the bureau of disability determination in others) receives too many such reports on a doctor, or receives one, the seriousness of which cannot be rationalized, they may decide to drop the doctor from the program. This would be handled by the agency's professional relations office, which actually spends quite a bit of time doing the opposite, i.e. trying to recruit doctors to conduct consultative examinations for the agency.

The problem, of course, with this type of situation is obvious. Even if a consultative examiner has been rude, how does this affect the case? Most likely, it would be impossible to find a connection between the consultative examiner's behavior and the report that he or she submits to social security. And, then, there's the fact that claimants are not given copies of their examination reports.

However, claimants who are very curious as what a psychologist, psychiatrist, or physician has written in an examination report can request that their own doctor be sent a copy of the exam report, in the hope that the information in the report will become accessible to them.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

Other Posts

Social Security Disability SSI : Psychological and other mental testing
Will I have to go to a mental exam if I apply for disability?
Social Security Disability Evaluation or Exam
Can you Say the Wrong thing at a Social Security Disability CE examination?
Mental Testing When You Apply for Disability for Depression (few Medical Records)



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