Most people filing for disability are asked by Social Security to go to a consultative exam (CE). This is a visit with one of Social Security’s doctors to evaluate applicants on both mental and physical abilities.
What is a Consultative Examination?
One of the first questions we get when a consultative exam is scheduled is “is this good or bad for my claim?” Are answer is, neither. Most people who apply for disability benefits will be sent to a consultative examination at some point. These exams typically take anywhere from an hour to two hours. A doctor hired by Social Security will examine you to determine how much your listed impairments are affecting your ability to function.
The most common types of exams are psychological and a general physical exam. For psychological exams you will be sent to a mental health care professional where they will assess your functional level on a mental and emotional level. The second one is a general physical doctor where the doctor will be measure your ability to sit, stand, balance, etc.
Other common types of consultative exams can be MRI, X Rays, or CT scans if you do not have any current testing in your record. These are much less common than the first two but do happen occasionally.
Tips for Your Consultative Exam
A few tips for your consultative exam: Make sure you actually attend the CE. Be cooperative. Answer the questions to the best of your ability. Take a proactive role in the examination. Take it upon yourself to ensure the doctor addresses all of your medical conditions and does an actual examination. Immediately after the CE, write down what happened. Write down the questions you were asked and the things the doctor asked you to do. Also, be aware that at a CE exam, it is common for the doctor to watch you as you enter and exit the facility and the doctor may also take note of how you act in the waiting room. It’s a little creepy, but it’s what they are trained to do.
A CE exam is like going to a new doctor for the first time. You will be asked about all of your medical conditions and related symptoms. You may also be asked to take tests or labs related to your conditions. The CE doctor does not give you medical advice; it is an assessment only.
For a mental status examination, you can expect to be asked to see a psychiatrist or psychologist. You may undergo testing for memory, intelligence, etc. You may also undergo neuropsychological testing.
Call a Salt Lake City Disability Attorney
If you cannot work due to a medical or mental condition you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Using an experienced disability lawyer will greatly increase your odds of being approved. Call today for your free evaluation.