Social Security Disability Consultative Exam:
Many people who apply for Social Security Disability benefits will be required to undergo a Consultative Examination or (CE) . While this can be nerve-wracking, it is part of the process.
It simply means the Social Security Adminstration (SSA) needs more information about your condition or limitations to make a decision on your claim. Oftentimes, individuals are scheduled for a Disability medical exam because they haven't been to a doctor recently, their medical records are thin, a specific test needs to be performed, or something does not make sense in the records.
Regardless of the reason (which you may never know), it's important to understand that this medical exam is a necessary part of the Disability process and should be taken seriously. Here are things you should not do if you are scheduled for a Social Security Disability medical exam.
Panic- When people learn that they have been scheduled for a Disability medical exam, they often become anxious, nervous and worried.. The exam will be performed by an independent medical professional who you probably have never seen before. He or she is being paid by the Social Security Administration to conduct an exam and give an unbiased opinion about your current condition and limitations. The exam is meant to provide a snap shot, not the complete picture.
Be Late- Tardiness is generally not tolerated and is a great way to get off on the wrong foot with the exam and to piss off the people making the decisions in your case going forward. If you are late, the doctor may refuse to see you and the exam will have to be rescheduled, which can further delay a decision on your claim. Additionally, the doctor will make written remarks about your behavior and demeanor, including if you were cooperative and if you arrived on time. It's important to put your best foot forward. Being late or unpleasant will not help your case
- Skip out. The quickest way to sink your Disability case is to be a no-show at an appointment that's been scheduled (and paid for) by the Social Security Administration. Unless you've got a really good excuse, your claim will be delayed, and quite likely, denied. This is because the decision-makers will have to make a determination based solely on the medical information contained in your file which is likely insufficient. Otherwise, you probably wouldn't have been scheduled for a consultative examination in the first place.
- Exaggerate. The last thing you want to do during a Disability medical exam is exaggerate your condition. Don't say you have pain “everywhere” or try and make your condition look worse than it really is. The doctor and staff will observe you arriving at the office, entering the exam room, and getting on and off the table. They will be on the lookout for dishonesty and credibility issues. It's important to be specific, straightforward and honest at all times.
- Expect too much. Don't expect a thorough, comprehensive exam. In fact, you may be in and out within 15 or 20 minutes. When a Disability claims examiner schedules you for a consultative examination, it is often for something specific, such as a blood test or an X-Ray. The goal is to collect information that is missing from your Disability file. Their job is to exam you, administer any necessary tests and submit a report to the Disability claims examiner to help them fill in any holes and make a decision on your case. You will not walk out with a prescription or a referral from the doctor.
- Go it alone. The disability process can be complicated and stressful. If you are scheduled to undergo a Consultative exam ― or if you were dissatisfied with your recent exam ― it's in your best interest to consult a lawyer who practices Social Security Disability law.
- Criticize- Take notes when you leave as to what happened but do not get into an altercation or argument with the doctor. This is always a horrible idea.
- Tough Guy Routine- Tell the CE that everything is fine and not communicate with him where your pain is and how it affects you.
The attorneys at Betz and Baril have helped thousands of people obtain much-needed Social Security Disability benefits. Call us at 865-888-8888 for a free no-hassle consultation. No matter where you are in the process, we can help. Best of all, it is free unless we win!