What You Should Not Tell Disability Doctors

Despite their claims to the contrary, disability doctors are not your friends. They are not there to help you with your disability claim. Rather, most of them are keen on proving that you are not disabled.

Remember, the SSA is paying them and that should tell you pretty much about where their loyalties lie. Besides, you won’t probably see them after the consultative exam (CE). So, you can’t expect them to care about you or the outcome of your claim.

As such, it’s highly recommended that you go to your disability exam prepared. Come early, dress properly, and bring your medical records (though there is no assurance they’ll read it). Most importantly, keep your calm and choose your words.

Disability doctors take notes based on what you say and do during the exam. These notes will be passed on to your disability examiner and may affect your claim. So it pays to be extra careful about what you tell them.

Here are five things you should never tell disability doctors:

“I’m Fine”

When someone asks us how we’re doing, most of the time our automatic response would be “I’m fine” even if we’re not. Many disability claimants make that mistake with their CE doctors too.

It’s alright to say you’re not fine because it’s true. You are suffering from a disability and you cannot work. If you tell the doctor you’re fine, they might think that your disability is not that serious.

If you’re in pain or are having a hard time walking, tell them that. Wanting to appear tough is fine but not when you’re talking to a disability doctor. Just be honest about what you really are going through but don’t tell them your entire life story. They are not your therapist.

“It Doesn’t Hurt.”

As part of your disability exam, the doctor may poke some parts of your body to see your reaction. Like if you are claiming that a leg injury is giving you so much pain that it prevents you from working. The doctor may prod that injured leg to assess how much pain you’re feeling. They may then ask you if it hurts.

Again, as humans, we have that urge to appear tough. Thus, some claimants would reply with “it doesn’t hurt” or “not really”. This is a huge mistake. If you make them believe that it’s not that painful, then it will look like you’re lying on your disability claim.

A disability doctor and his patient.

“I’m Dying.”

Yes, you should tell the doctor whatever pain you’re feeling but never exaggerate it. Telling the doctor you’re dying when you, in fact, are not will affect your credibility. Remember that the exam will only last 15 to 30 minutes at most. So you only have a limited time to convince the doctor that you are disabled. If you appear to be untrustworthy, the doctor may doubt everything else you’re claiming. And that might make it harder to persuade them otherwise.

“I Can’t Do It.”

When the disability doctor asks you to do something, the worst thing you can do is flat out refuse. Not only will you come off as uncooperative and arrogant, but it’s also downright rude. Tell them you’ll try and really do but make sure you don’t compromise your health by doing so. If you can’t do what they’re asking you to, at least you tried. And it will also give them a good idea of the extent of your disability.

“I Don’t Trust Doctors.”

This is the last thing any doctor would want to hear, not just disability doctors. Unfortunately, many disability claimants panic during the examination and become a little too vocal with their opinions. It may be true but telling it to your disability doctor’s face will definitely not help your case. Remember, you’re trying to gain their trust. But how can they trust you when they know you don’t trust them?


Victor Malca Law has over 25 years of litigation experience, we are the most trusted workers’ compensation lawyers in Florida. Our area of expertise is in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claim social security disability benefits.

Our unwavering advocacy for employee rights and privileges are also recognized by our peers. Book a free consultation today.

Judy Ponio is a writer for Victor Malca LawAbout The Author

Judy Ponio is a writer for Victor Malca Law P.A. and enjoys helping people with questions about social security, workers compensation, and other serious matters involving people’s livelihood. She is not an attorney and her writing should not be considered legal advice.

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