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Taking a Look at the Social Security Disability Consultative Exam

Posted Jessica L. Kurtz on Feb 24, 2015 in Social Security Disability

It takes many people months to gather the required medical records, documents, and nerves to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Knowing how often applications are denied, and knowing how intense the application and appeals processes can be, most applicants are nearing their breaking point by the time they send in their application packet.

After all of the effort and will it took to send in an application, many people are shocked and dismayed to learn that they have been scheduled to undergo a consultative exam, or CE. They worry that they have made a mistake, or that the CE will uncover an unknown condition that could render them ineligible for benefits.

What is this consultative exam that you may be scheduled for, and what does it mean for your claim? Keep reading to find out more!

The SSDI Consultative Exam: What it Is, and What it Does

Being scheduled for a CE does not mean that you have done anything wrong in your application, per se—it just means that the agent working on your claim needs more information or evidence to back up your application.

Typically, the exam will be with an independent physician who has been contracted by the Social Security Administration. It is very important that you attend this exam! You will not receive any treatment or specific diagnoses—for better or for worse, these exams are typically very quick, and will only include the necessary tests for determining your disability and limitations.

The exam is meant to verify that the conditions and limitations (both physical and psychological) that you listed on your application are real and substantial. While many people enjoy the fact that these exams are usually very quick, this can also be a drawback for some. Many feel as though these exams are nowhere near thorough enough to accurately evaluate many disabilities, and since doctors are typically unfamiliar with patients and their history, some conditions may be overlooked or underestimated.

Have You Been Scheduled for a Consultative Exam?

If you have been schedule for a CE, there is no need to panic. You must make absolutely sure that you attend this exam, but here is what to expect, and why you have been picked to be evaluated.

What this may mean is that you did not have enough recent or thorough medical records included with your application to support your claim without further evidence. Hopefully, your CE will uncover exactly what you thought—that you have a disability that prevents you from working. The most likely scenario is that your claim is being worked on, and the examiner simply wants to know more before moving forward with a decision.

If you have further questions about your application, denial, or why you have been scheduled for a CE, Schmidt Kramer’s Social Security disability attorneys can help. Call us today to schedule your free consultation, or simply click on the live chat link to be connected with a firm representative.