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Monday, May 29, 2017

What You Need to Know about the Medical Exam for Social Security Disability

What should I expect during the medical exam for SSDI benefits?

Certain applicants for Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income disability benefits will be required to submit to a medical examination, also referred to as a consultative exam (CE).   The medical exam may be required where your application does not have sufficient evidence of your medical condition or if you have not been seen by a doctor for a considerable period of time.  While the medical exam can be intimidating, with some advance preparation and knowledge as to what the exam will consist of, you can complete the consultative exam and start receiving your benefits in no time. 

Who Will Perform the Medical Exam?

The consultative exam will be conducted by an independent physician who has contracted with the Social Security Administration. 

What Will Happen During the Exam?

During your medical exam, the focus of the physician will not be on providing medical treatment, but rather on evaluating your condition and limitations.  Your exam may focus on your physical condition or psychological, depending on your condition for which you seek SSDI benefits.  Tests conducted could include x-rays, blood work, ophthalmological exams, and more.  The tests and examinations performed will be at the discretion of the physician, with the examiner performing no more than necessary to inform the decision of the SSA.

Limitations of the SSDI Consultative Exam

The SSDI medical exam has its drawbacks.  The examining physician will never have met you before and may lack a complete picture of your medical condition.  While at least a portion of your medical file will be sent to the examining physician, it may be incomplete and there is no guarantee the physician will thoroughly read it.  A such, it is always preferable to include considerable medical evidence within your application so that the SSA may not require you to submit to a consultative exam. 

After your consultative exam is complete, the doctor will issue a report that hopefully supports your claim for benefits.  Anyone who has received notice of a scheduled medical exam or needs assistance with their SSDI claim should contact an SSDI attorney as soon as possible.  


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