If the Social Security Administration (SSA) officials handling your claim don’t feel that there is sufficient medical evidence to approve your claim, or if they feel they need to confirm the existing evidence, you may be required to attend a consultative examination. These examinations are performed by third party doctors, mental health professionals, and other qualified individuals. The doctor does not work for you, nor does he (at least in theory) work directly for the SSA.
If you are ordered to go to a consultative examination, it’s in your best interests to do so. Failing to do so is one of the surest ways to make sure that your Social Security disability claim is denied. There are absolutely no benefits to you in refusing a consultative examination.
When the time comes for your consultative examination, show up and be on time. You’ll want to be as courteous as you can in all interactions with the doctor and his or her staff. After all, he will be giving a medical opinion which could affect whether or not you are approved for disability benefits. And again, he is not a direct employee of the Social Security Administration and has no financial incentive to either confirm or discredit your claim. You don’t want to unnecessarily give him or her a reason to want to discredit you.
Go into your consultative examination prepared to be completely honest and straightforward about your disability. Don’t hide anything or misrepresent anything. You especially don’t want to give the doctor reasons to believe you are exaggerating your condition (though you certainly don’t want to hold back, either).
You will want to have as much documentation as possible about your condition. You will particularly want to document how it affects your ability to perform activities such as sitting, standing, walking, kneeling, lifting and carrying. If your condition makes it difficult to perform or enjoy daily activities, you will want to notate that as well.
In most cases, your consultation will be fairly short. If your consultation runs long, you should take this as a good sign-you have a doctor who is taking your claims reasonably seriously. In any case, make note of how long the consultative examination took from the time you first actually spoke with the doctor.
You will want to take notes of anything the doctor says while you are in the examining room. While most doctors who perform consultative examinations are reasonably professional, you will also want to take note of anything that seems amiss during the examination.
If you aren’t already consulting a Social Security disability lawyer, it’s a good idea to see one before your Consultative Examination. It would be impossible within the scope of this blog to list out all of the possible scenarios and how you should prepare yourself for your specific consultative examination. A Social Security attorney will be able to review the particulars of your individual claim and advise you regarding any specific preparations you will need to make prior to your CE.