Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Will The SSD Disability Examiner Call Me?

In general, most Social Security (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income disability applicants are contacted by the disability examiner responsible for making their medical disability decision. Of course, the reason is fairly plain. Disability decisions involve a lot more than just medical records; they include information from the disability applicant and certain third party contact persons as well (a third party contact is a person that the disability applicant has provided as someone who is familiar with their conditions and how the applicant’s conditions limit them).

Generally, the first contact a disability applicant has with a disability examiner will be a phone call or a questionnaire, meaning the purpose of the call is to either gather information or clarify information that the claimant previously submitted. Disability examiners use phone contact or questionnaires to answer questions about the applicant’s medical information, work history, or how an individual's impairment prevents them from performing routine activities such as grooming, cleaning the house, shopping, mowing the yard, cooking, etc, -- in other words, just regular things that people do.

The third party questionnaire is used to get an opinion other than the applicant’s or the treating physicians opinion as to the disability applicant's limitations. Social Security uses two types of questionnaires to provide this information: 1) An Activities of daily living questionaire (which the disability applicant completes) and 2) a third party activities of daily living questionaire (in which information about the claimant's daily activities is supplied by a third party contact person named by the claimant).

Outside of questionnaires about an applicant’s daily life and their work activity, disability examiners may need to a schedule consultative medical examination, a.k.a. a social security medical exam. Consultative examinations are used when an individual does not have enough current medical information (medical treatment that is less than three months old) to make a Social Security disability determination. Generally, the disability examiner calls the disability applicant to inform them that an examination is going to be needed and to ascertain what time might be best for the applicant to go to an examination.

There are many things or situations that might require a disability examiner to call or write a disability applicant and that is why it is so important for disability examiners to have a correct phone number and address for the individual. Therefore, if you move or change your address notify Social Security immediately so your record can be updated.

Finally, it is imperative for disability applicants to return all calls or information requested by disability examiners, so make sure to check your mail and return phone calls.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

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