Properly known as a consultative examination, this procedure is required for your claim to proceed. Not going to your appointment either results in a reschedule or the SSA closing your claim.
This procedure is notorious for its ineffectiveness toward your case. So, be mindful of the following points:
Why It’s Scheduled, and What You Should Expect
There are a few reasons the SSA requested this procedure:
- Your initial application doesn’t present enough evidence to support your condition.
- A doctor hasn’t seen you in some time.
- You never received medical treatment specifically for this condition.
- You didn’t include sufficient medical records with your application.
In the process, the doctor assesses your limitations, and you will go through physical, psychiatric, and psychological evaluations and may have to take a few tests, including ophthalmological tests, blood work, and X-rays. Be aware that this doctor will not provide treatment.
Contrary to popular belief, the doctors assigned don’t directly work for the SSA, although the SSA pays for the exam. Rather, they’re independent practitioners contracted to perform these services. Many tend to be less experienced.
Claimants have run into the following concerns when dealing with these doctors:
- The SSA sends over your file, but the doctor doesn’t look through it. As a result, he or she doesn’t know what to assess.
- The doctor doesn’t believe you and thinks you’re “faking.” Any pain and suffering you bring up is played down; in the assessment, the doctor claims you’re exaggerating.
- The exam is very brief – no more than 20 minutes in many cases.
- The doctor has no knowledge of your medical history.
What Can Occur
Be aware that consultative exams almost never support your claim. Instead, understand that whatever happens will likely be held against you.