Were You Asked to Undergo a Consultative Exam for Social Security Disability?
A consultative examination from the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires someone seeking disability benefits to get an additional physical or mental health examination, The exam is used to prove that they truly cannot work. Knowing what to expect at an exam and preparing properly for it will help claimants get a positive outcome when they attend this exam.
When Consultative Exams Are Needed
The Social Security Administration may request a consultative exam when they require additional evidence of the individual’s disability. The SSA is allowed to request these exams on an individual basis as they make the decision about awarding disability benefits. This may happen when the existing medical records do not provide enough proof, or if the records cannot be ordered from the claimant’s doctor. If the SSA sees any inconsistencies in the individual’s medical records or if they need technical or specialized evidence, they may also require the exam. Finally, the SSA may request the exam if they see that there is a change in the individual’s ability to work.
What to Expect at a Consultative Exam Is Requested
People who are applying for Social Security and have a request for a consultative exam often start with consulting a Social Security attorney. A Social Security attorney can help the individual find the right doctor and move forward with the exam successfully.
Doctors must follow a minimum amount of time to evaluate the claimant’s condition based on the law. This ensures that the evaluation is thorough and the disability properly documented. These time frames range from at least 20 minutes for musculoskeletal or neurological conditions to at least 60 minutes for psychological examination.
The report is also important. The doctor’s report must meet the acceptable standard set forth by the Social Security Administration based on the type of disability and the type of exam performed. Working with a Social Security attorney can help ensure that no documentation is left undone, which could put the claim in jeopardy.
Preparing for the Exam
To prepare for the exam, the claimant can consult with their Social Security attorney to outline the right statement of their condition and its interference with their ability to work. After the exam, the claimant needs to record how long the doctor was with them and what tests were performed. If a dispute occurs, having that documentation and the assistance of a Social Security attorney will both be important.