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What Are Consultative Examinations?

If you have applied for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits, there is a good chance that you have received a notice from the Social Security Administration telling you to see a doctor selected by the Social Security Administration to have a consultative examination performed, and you are probably wondering exactly what a consultative examination is.

A consultative examination is a medical examination performed by a doctor who is contracted with the Social Security Administration to perform physical and mental examination on claimants in situations where the person applying for disability benefits has not been able to see a doctor often and therefore there are not much in terms of medical records for the Administration to review. The consultative physician has not been hired to provide actual medical treatment for the claimant; rather, their job is to evaluate the person to provide a picture of what their medical condition at the time of the examination. Unfortunately, most of these consultative examinations rarely last more than 15-30 minutes, and often the consultative physician does not have a copy of all the claimant’s medical records to review, so they are not the best source of information as to the extent of a person’s problems. Having stated this, if a consultative examination has been requested, you should do everything possible to attend the appointment as failure to do so will not be viewed favorably by the administrative law judge.

Given the limitations inherent in the consultative examination process, you really should not hope that just seeing a consultative doctor will provide sufficient evidence in and of itself to warrant a finding of disability, although this does occur from time to time.

If you believe that you are disabled and you have questions about your right to Social Security Disability benefits or SSI benefits, then please consider contacting and talking with one of the experienced Alabama Disability Attorneys at Powell and Denny today.

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