During the course of applying for Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may request additional evidence about your medical condition. When preparing for your Social Security Disability consultation, it is important to understand what Social Security doctors look for in regards to your medical condition.
If you find yourself filled with questions about why this might be happening, what to expect, and how to properly prepare, then you have come to the right place.
Our team at Crest SSD has answers to help you every step of the way. Keep reading to acquire knowledge of the ins and outs of the benefits application process to help you on the journey to receiving disability benefits.
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Why Did the SSA Order a Consultative Exam?
Oftentimes, the Social Security Administration will order a medical exam if you do not have enough substantial evidence to support your claim.
This can occur if the documentation you provided during the application process does include enough evidence about your condition. Or, if you have not had a recent evaluation, the SSA will order an evaluation for you.
It is important to note that you will not be approved for Social Security Disability benefits without sufficient medical evidence. Take note, though, that a consultative examination does not substitute for regular medical treatment from your physician.
Who Will Administer the Exam?
The Social Security Administration most usually will send you to a physician who is independent from the SSA and not your primary care doctor. This is because of the SSA requirement that the evaluating physician is not your primary doctor already providing treatment for your condition.
The consultative doctor will not be an individual who works for the Social Security Administration, though, as the SSA does not employ their own team of physicians. However, the SSA will prefer to utilize a physician (medical source) who understands the disability determination process.
- The medical source must have necessary equipment to provide an adequate assessment of the existence and level of severity of your medical condition.
- The medical source who performs the Consultative Exam must have a good understanding of SSA disability programs and the evidence requirements.
- The medical source may use qualified support staff to help perform the consultative examination.
- Support staff must meet appropriate licensing or certification requirements.
Overall, the medical source will be selected based on availability, proximity to your residence, and the ability to perform specific exams related to your medical condition.
What Information is the Examiner Seeking?
Your medical exam will essentially be a final gathering of evidence to support or deny your Social Security Disability benefits claim. The exam may include, but is not limited to:
- Mental evaluation
- Blood work
- Other relevant medical tests
Generally, these exams are fairly brief, as the doctor will be focused on the extent of your condition and limitations rather than treatment. However, some exams may last longer if more extensive tests have been ordered by the SSA examiner depending on the nature of your medical impairment.
This appointment does not substitute as an appointment with your regular physician as this doctor cannot and will not treat your condition. This process is merely to gather evidence regarding your medical condition that will be used by the SSA to further evaluate the validity of your disability claim.
Talk to Crest SSD About Support on the Disability Journey
We know that it can be difficult and frustrating completing the disability benefits process, especially if you are trying to find out what the Social Security doctor will be looking for during your exam.
We encourage you to be patient, upfront, and forthcoming with answers to questions during the consultative exam. This will help provide the SSA with a more complete picture about your medical condition to create a stronger case that you should qualify for disability benefits.
We are here to help you through this process. Should you need assistance during the journey to being approved for benefits, reach out to our team for help. We can help you complete the disability application process and represent you before the SSA.