Do you have to go to a consultative exam for Social Security?

| Jun 22, 2020 | Social Security Disability Benefits for Injuries

One you made the painful decision to file for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, it seemed like all you did was sit around and wait for months, hoping to hear something. When you finally did get a letter, it said that the claims examiner at the Disability Determination Services wants you to go to for a consultative exam with another doctor.

What gives?

Well, Social Security usually sends claimants to a consultative exam for one of two reasons: There’s not enough medical evidence in the file or the evidence is somehow unclear.

One one hand, going to a consultative exam can be tricky. While the doctors chosen to do these exams are supposed to be independent, the reality is that many of them make a substantial part of their income through these consultations. If they appear to be too “claimant-friendly,” the odds are good that those consultations will start to dry up.

On the other hand, if you don’t go to the appointment, the odds are high that your claim will get denied. SSA typically doesn’t pay for a consultative exam unless they really need it to justify an approval.

There are times, however, when you may have a reasonable objection to a consultative exam. They include situations where:

  • You’ve already seen the doctor in the past in connection with a previous disability claim and the decision went against you.
  • The doctor’s office doesn’t have the disability accommodations or access you need. For example, there are stairs and you’re on a walker.
  • The doctor was involved in a previous legal case, insurance claim or workers’ compensation claim you had in the past (and may, therefore, have some predetermined feelings about you or your claim now).

In situations like these, it’s particularly important to have someone protecting your interests. Getting your Social Security Disability claim approved can’t be left up to chance. Find out what an experienced representative can do to help you.

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