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What Should You Not Tell A Disability Doctor?

Last updated: April 12, 2023

Are you planning to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, or has the SSA recently rejected your application? Before you can receive benefits, you may need to undergo a Consultative Examination (CE) with a physician approved by the SSA.

A consultative exam with a disability specialist can be nerve-wracking, and knowing what not to say could be crucial to your claim. Further, you can make your case stronger if you do not lie or exaggerate your condition during your examination or if you do not share your personal opinions with your physician.

It is highly recommended that you are prepared for your disability exam. Read on to discover what not to tell a disability doctor during an assessment.

Simple Advice For Your Consultative Exam

It's important to stay calm and choose your words carefully during a consultative exam. Disability doctors write down everything you say and do during the exam. The doctor will pass this information along to your disability examiner.

That said, it’s important to be truthful with your doctor when they ask how you feel or how much you’re hurting from your condition. As part of our human nature, some automatically respond, I'm fine or good. However, you do not want to reply with the usual "I'm doing well" answer since you are going through a tough time.

There's nothing wrong with telling the doctor you're not feeling well or in pain. Your doctor might think you do not have a severe disability if you say you are fine. Therefore, if you feel unwell or are experiencing pain, tell the doctor right from the beginning.

Putting your doctor under the impression that you are doing well or that your pain is not severe is a huge mistake. Your statements that contradict your disability claim may affect your eligibility for disability benefits.

Avoid Exaggerating Your Condition During A Consultative Exam

Regardless of why you are scheduled to see a disability physician for a CE, you need to understand that the physician is not there to treat or advise you. So, don't overstate your symptoms and tell your doctor the truth.

You should not tell the doctor that you have pain everywhere or a pain level of 10 out of 10 for all things if your daily activities do not match this level of pain.

Exaggerating your symptoms could lead to a disability doctor thinking you are faking, which could hurt your credibility. In addition, they might report this behavior as suspicious.


If the SSA asks you to undergo a consultative exam, keep in mind that the doctor and support staff will observe and record everything during the exam. Therefore, you should know what not to tell a disability doctor. The best way to perform the examination is to be straightforward, precise, and honest.

If you wish to learn how SSI benefits are determined, head to Disability Help for more detailed information. 

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Zoey Appleton
Zoey has worked with Cheri for years and has been creating the best articles not only for Disability Help but for our readers. Her job hits close to home for she has a brother with special needs. She hopes to see science and technology pave the way for a better life, with Disability Help to cover it and share it with those that need it.
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