At the initial and Reconsideration levels of a social security disability claim; records are obtained by the Disability Determination Agency, their job is to determine if you are disabled based off the medical records received from your doctors. If a decision cannot be made, a Consultative examination is requested. A Consultative examination can be requested for claimants that have filed for Title II or Title XVI Disability benefits. More often than not, lack of finances or insurance to treat consistently may result in the need for a CE (consultative examination). If treatment started with a new specialists but has only resulted in one or two visits, there may be a need for a scheduled consultative examination. For example, if your new physician has indicated a serious ailment in your records; DDS may want a second opinion because there was not considerable treatment with the new doctor. Once social security has decided another medical opinion is needed, you will receive a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating the time and location of the appointment. It is very important that you communicate to the claim examiner your intentions of going to the appointment.
Consultative Examinations can be a bit intimidating because most people believe them to be doctors within the Social Security Administration. In fact, they are independent physicians who are contracted by Social Security to perform medical exams. Generally, these exams take 20 – 60 minutes depending on the type of exam being performed. For example, a psychological examination may take an hour to complete because of the many required areas of testing. Yet, a physical exam may take anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Physical exams are a routine work-up which involve checking vitals and focusing on the impaired area of your body. It is very important that symptoms are not exaggerated during the appointment.
Once an examination is complete, the examiner will report his/her findings to the the Disability Determination Agency.