During a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may send you to a doctor for a consultative examination. They schedule these visits to find out more about your disability and determine if it is debilitating enough to make it difficult or impossible for you to work. Knowing what to expect from your social security consultative exam can help relieve some anxiety and prepare you for the exam.
Why Would I Need to See a Different Doctor?
There are a few different reasons you may need to see a specific doctor rather than your primary physician to get documentation for your disability case:
- Your doctor prefers not to do examinations for disability cases
- Your doctor is not a specialist in a particular field of medicine SSA is looking for
- The information your doctor provides isn’t comprehensive enough for the SSA
Sometimes you may prefer to find a different doctor on your own. Other times the SSA will require a specific consultative exam.
For example, if it has been more than 60 days since your last examination with your specialist or primary care physician, the SSA may schedule you for a consultative exam.
Are the Doctors Specifically Hired by the SSA?
Any doctor who performs a consultative exam fo SSA does not work for the SSA. While the SSA pays for the exam, you will see an independent physician. This helps to mitigate bias on the part of the doctor and ensure a fair exam.
What Will the Exam Be Like and How Long Will It Take?
There is no definitive answer to this; it all depends on the condition that you are claiming as a disability. The doctor will determine which tests you need. You may have x-rays taken, undergo a mental evaluation, among other tests.
It is important to remember that you will need to continue seeing your primary doctor regularly.
What is the Doctor Looking for?
Quite simply, a consultative doctor is looking for evidence that your disability causes you enough physical or mental hardship that you are not able to continue working. The doctor who performs your consultative exam is not trying to find evidence against you or make it more difficult for you to win your claim. The examination they perform is supposed to be objective.
Find Out More About What to Expect from Your SSDI Doctor Visit
Your consultative visit will be unique to your disability and the documentation that the SSA already has on file. If you have questions about what you can expect specifically, Disability Associates can help. We will walk you through the process step-by-step from filing your initial claim, to your doctor visit, through your hearing.