If you have filed a claim for disability benefits, you may be asked to undergo a consultative medical or psychological examination.  Here is a brief explanation of the process for informational purposes.

A consultative examination is a physical or mental examination that is arranged by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). When you file for disability benefits the SSA will contact your treating doctors and hospitals and request copies of your medical records. The SSA will also send questionnaires to your doctors. SSA may also arrange for a consultative examination.

The purpose of the exam is to gather medical evidence about your condition.

If one of the following circumstances is involved in your case, you may be asked to undergo a consultative examination: 

(1) You have not been treated by a doctor at all or for the condition that is causing your impairment.
(2) Your medical records from your treating doctor are too old, illegible, or don’t contain the information or specific test results that the SSA needs to determine whether you are disabled.
(3) Your doctor is not a specialist in the area in which you are having problems and the Social Security Administration needs an expert opinion.
(4) Your medical records contain conflicting information.
(5) Your doctor has failed to send your medical records to the Social Security Administration.

If your case is still in the early stages, at the pre-hearing level, the examination will be arranged by the disability examiner who is handling your claim. If your case has reached the hearing level the administrative law judge will be the one to determine if an examination is necessary. In either case, the consulting doctor’s medical report becomes a part of the evidence in your file.

Part 2: What Will Happen at my Consultative Examination (coming soon) 

For more information about Social Security disability claims, order a FREE copy of my book, Unofficial Guide to Social Security Disability Claims.

If you need help with your disability claim, contact my office today at 410-823-8200.