Do Not Miss Your Consultative Examination

Do Not Miss Your Consultative Examination

Social Security Disability (SSD) applicants are often required to attend a “consultative examination” (CE) with a physician or mental health practitioner contracted by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The medical consultant provides an independent and unbiased assessment of the mental, psychological, and/or physical condition of SSD applicants.

Why is a Consultative Exam Required?

Consultative exams are often required when the SSA has insufficient medical or mental health records to make a determination on an applicant’s eligibility for benefits. Even if you provide medical documentation, there is a chance that your records may not be thorough, detailed, or recent enough to satisfy the eligibility criteria for receiving SSD. The SSA may need additional information to evaluate your condition and the extent to which it affects your ability to perform activities of daily living.

What is the Goal of a Consultative Examination ?

The goal of the medical examiner is not to provide treatment but to collect the information that may be missing from your disability application. The consultative exam will only complete evaluations relevant to your SSD claim.

Depending on how much information the claims examiner needs, the appointment may include a physical, psychological or psychiatric exam, as well as diagnostic tests, like x-rays and blood work.

What does it mean when you receive a CE Letter from the SSA?

It is not likely that the SSA will disclose the reason that you need to undergo a Consultative Exam. However a CE Letter does indicate that your claim is actively being reviewed. Regardless of the reason why, the exam is essential to your continued quest for SSD benefits.

What Happens if You don’t Attend the CE Appointment?

Ultimately, your attendance at the CE is required for your claim to move forward. Failure to attend can cause your application to be dismissed for “failure to cooperate”. You cannot miss your appointment if you wish to continue pursuing SSD benefits.

What if You’re Unable to Make the Appointment as Scheduled?

If you have a valid reason for not being able to make the CE appointment as scheduled, then you’ll need to inform the SSA as soon as possible and request the date be changed. Keep in mind that requesting a change may further delay the application process.

You should make every effort to attend the consultative examination on the date originally designated by the SSA. Doing so will move your claim forward and help you receive a decision as soon as possible.

Submitted By: Molly Clarke

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