What Is A Social Security Consultative Exam?

Parmele Law FirmSocial Security

Being approved for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) is dependent upon being able to prove a disability. In order to show you are disabled, you will have to provide proof from your doctor. For most people this is an easy task, because when suffering from a debilitating disability, doctor visits are frequent. But in some cases there is not enough medical evidence to support the claim and an exam has to be scheduled. The type of exam is called a consultative exam, and there are some things you need to know before you submit to this procedure.

A consultative exam (CE) for purposes of determining the existence of a disability has the following characteristics:

  • The physician is not on staff for the Social Security Administration (SSA), but does have a contract to perform the exam at the request of the SSA.
  • The exam is not for the purposes of providing treatment, and the appointment will more than likely be short.

These qualities leave an applicant feeling as though the CE is not a satisfactory way to prove a disability. Because the doctor is independent there is not prior history that would provide revealing information about the patient’s condition. Medical records are sent ahead of the appointment, but there is no guarantee the doctor will spend enough time going over those records to get a true understanding of the disability. Many times the report from the consulting doctor is short and does not contain enough information to either prove or disprove a disability. The problem with this type of report is that without detailed information the SSA is in no better position to determine if you are disabled with the report, than they are without the report. To avoid having meaningless data become part of the record in your case, it is best to see your own physician at the outset of your disability. It is also helpful to maintain regular visits with your doctor so your medical records are robust and complete. When you have a full medical history on hand, with records to back up your condition, you have the best chance at proving the condition you say you suffer from is a reality.

If you have questions about how to qualify for SSDI, call an experienced attorney for help. Contact us online today for more information. We can also be reached by phone at 855-727-6353.