Hi my name is Andrew Kinney. I do Social Security Law at Hoglund Law Offices. Today, I wanted to talk about consultative exams or “CE’s” as they’re called.
If you have a pending Social Security Case and you get a letter in the mail that says you need to appear in a consultative exam, I want to explain what that is, why that is, when social security orders it, who pays for it, and what the result is perhaps if you don’t go.
Social Security regulations require social security to get information on a physical or mental impairment if they don’t believe the current medical information gives them enough information to make a decision about whether you’re disabled. So, let’s say you apply for social security disability benefits and haven’t had much care for depression and you have chronic pain. What you would see perhaps at the first level when you apply is a letter in the mail that social security would pay for you to meet with a one-time evaluator. A psychologist usually, that would be able to ask you questions about your situation and in a limited way to make a diagnosis and also give advice about your ability to concentrate and things like that.
What you have with consultative examinations is it’s a good thing. And Social Security is trying to get information that they don’t otherwise have. One of the drawbacks, though, is that that at times Social Security does have enough information but yet they order a consultative examination anyways. So, what I tell my clients that it’s always important to go to a consultative exam, even if you know that doctor doesn’t know you and doesn’t know much about you. And the reason is this: If social security thinks it’s important enough to order a consultative exam and you don’t go, that may, itself, be a cause for a denial. So, with that in mind, it’s not a good idea to decide on your own not to go on purpose because it may result in a denial, and you don’t want that.
A good piece of advice about consultative exams is that its best to always have ongoing treatment for things you know you have a problem with. If you have something like depression or anxiety or in the physical realm if you have chronic back problems or some other sort of problems it’s always good to have doctors that you treat with, that you trust to evaluate you, and perhaps like at Hoglund Law offices, get a statement from the doctor to lay out your restrictions. Those will carry more weight with the social security judge eventually. In summary, with consultative exams, or consults what social security does is that their trying to get more information about you that could possibly improve you, so be honest and upfront and on time.
If you have further questions about consultative exams or Social Security Disability in general you can feel free to call our offices at 1-800-850-7867 or you can go online at www.HoglundLaw.com as well, thank you.