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September 18, 2017

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Social Security Consultative Examination

August 25, 2017

Several of my clients have been asking about the Consultative Examination that Social Security often sends them to.  The question is when Social Security sends you to an independent exam, what is the purpose of this? Why do they do it? And most importantly how do the results of a C.E. have an impact on your claim?

If you apply for social for benefits, there is a good chance you will be scheduled to go to a medical exam. Typically, this happens when an individual who applies for disability has not been seen by a doctor in recent weeks or months.

What is the purpose? While disability examiners need older medical records to determine when a person became disabled, they are also required to have medical evidence available to them that is not older than sixty days in order to render a determination. Without such evidence, the disability determiner is unable to make the determination that the claimant is currently disabled.

Here are a few initial points to keep in mind:

1. consultative exams, are ordered by disability examiners and also by judges at hearings.

2. An exam can be physical in nature, or it can be mental. If the exam is for a mental impairment, it may involve psychological testing or a psychiatric evaluation.

3. “Independent medical examination”.  Some of my clients say that there is nothing independent about this because these doctors are hired by Social Security, and the examination only lasts a few minutes, but moreso they claim that the doctors are not really doctors.  Despite these practical concerns, the exam in theory will not be conducted by a doctor who works for the social security administration. Instead, it will be conducted by a doctor who has agreed to perform such exams, but, otherwise, is engaged in private practice. The exam can be performed by a claimant's own doctor if the person requests this and the doctor agrees to do this.

With this being said, you still needs to go to a C.E. if one has been scheduled.  Failure to go can be a reason for denying a case.  Good luck and call our office if you need further assistance.

 

Peter LaPray

Attorney at Packard LaPray

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