As part of the Social Security application process, most people are required to receive consultative exams before they are approved or denied the benefits. These exams are performed as a way to obtain medical evidence and evaluate the severity of your condition. You will not receive any kind of treatment during the exam, but you may have to endure diagnostic testing in the form of x-rays, bloodwork, or mental evaluations.

What You Need to Know About Consultative Exams

Before you agree to and schedule a consultative exam, you should know what you are getting into.

  • Who performs the exam. Contrary to popular belief, a physician from the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not perform the exam. An independent physician who is contracted by the SSA will perform your evaluation and report the findings to the Administration.
  • The exam may not be accurate. You’ve likely never seen the doctor who is about to perform an examination on you, and chances are he won’t read your medical history before he sees you. This means he probably won’t understand the full extent of your condition, which could lead to a denial. Additionally, the doctor likely won’t spend more than five or ten minutes on you, which is not nearly enough time to give an accurate assessment of your health.  
  • The need of an exam often means there’s not much medical evidence. If you are told you need to have a consultative exam, it may be because you didn’t provide enough information in regards to your condition when you applied. If you’re told you need an exam it may also be because the SSA examiner is about to close your case and needs “recent” medical information in order to do so.

Don’t Go Through This Alone

As a Social Security applicant who is dealing with a new medical condition, you likely have lots of questions about what is going on, and we want to help. The attorneys of Johnson and Gilbert can offer assistance in whatever you need during this difficult time. Contact us today to learn more.