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CONSULTATIVE EXAMS – WHAT ARE THEY?

At some point, if you file for disability benefits, the SSA might order Consultative Exams. You will receive a notice in the mail, ordering you to go to a Consultative Exam. You may ask yourself, “Consultative Exams – What are they?” What they are is an opportunity for you to visit a doctor or a psychologist for free and you can prove your disability.

WHO WILL SCHEDULE MY CONSULTATIVE EXAMS?

The SSA will schedule your Consultative Exam for you. They will send you a written notice in the mail. It will have the name of the doctor, the address you need to go to, and the date and time. If you cannot attend the exam, you must immediately call the SSA and inform them that you have a conflict. Usually, they will reschedule the appointment time for you, so that you can attend. Whatever you do, do not miss the exam. They will not reschedule the exam for you if you miss it without explanation.

WHY WILL THE SSA SCHEDULE ME FOR A CONSULTATIVE EXAM?

The SSA is scheduling you for an examination with a physical doctor or a psychologist, in order to document your disability. Therefore, it is crucial for you to attend the exam. The physical doctor will be testing for physical impairments. For example, if you have a back impairment, the doctor will be watching how you walk into the office, they will watch you in the waiting room to see if you have pain behavior. The doctor will discuss how you move, bend, sit, stand, and walk. They will write down if you are able to get onto the exam table. The doctor will also write down your complaints and if he or she can document those symptoms on examination.

On a mental examination, you visit the psychologist. The psychologist will interview you to see if you suffer from Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, or another mental disorder. You should see the exam as an opportunity to explain your mental problems and how they affect you on a daily basis. For example, if you are depressed, you could discuss how you can’t sleep at night, have panic attacks, or how you can no longer concentrate. You should make sure to describe all of your mental issues with the psychologist.

IF THE SSA IS PAYING THE DOCTOR, WON’T THE DOCTOR BE ON THE SSA’S SIDE?

Many people question whether doctors who are paid by the SSA, can provide an objective exam. Overall, most doctors provide a fair examination. Especially if you bring your medical records to the exam. The physical or mental examiner should review your records to see your doctor’s diagnosis. Bring your medical records and explain how your symptoms keep your from working.  Show the doctor your physical limitations. If you have mental limitations, explain how they keep your from working and affect you in your daily activities.

Finally, if the SSA schedules you for a consultative exam and you don’t know what to do, call our office. Contact us using this website or call us today. We can help you make the most out of this opportunity to be examined by a doctor.

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