What Happens When Social Security Sends Me to The Doctor?
A Consultative Exam or CE is a medical examination that the SSA or Social Security Administration asks you to obtain during the course of processing your claim for disability benefit. Not all people who have submitted a claim will be asked or required to get the CE. It is usually reserved for those who have a claim, but who also have scant evidence that their condition is serious enough to warrant benefits or support.
Also, you may be asked to obtain a CE if you have not seen your physician for a length of time and the SSA is ensuring that the condition is as disabling as claimed.
When You Need a CE
The ultimate purpose of a CE is not to receive any sort of medical care or treatment. It is meant to issue a summary of the individual’s current condition as well as any limitations that condition creates. The CE can be physical, but there may be psychological or even psychiatric components involved. The individual assigned the task of performing a CE is going to test for or look at the issues necessary for the formal SSA decision, and nothing more.
What does it mean if you have been scheduled for a CE? It can mean a lot of things. For instance, it may be a good sign that your case is active and your claim is being considered. It could be that nothing more than some tests (like an x-ray or a physical exam) is all that stands between you and your SSDI benefits. Of course, it can mean that your medical records and evidence are too slim and the CE is being booked as a formal or official way of enabling a denial.
The long and short of it is that you cannot ever really know the reason behind the CE, but if you want to keep your disability claim moving forward, you must attend.
What’s Included in a CE?
One of the most important things to remember during a CE of any kind is that the doctor performing it has no background on you. They won’t know a thing about you or your medical history. They might have seen some of the records associated with your case, but chances are that any details are quite slim. They may not even review them before conducting the exam.
What happens during the CE? The communication telling you what your exam requires will outline what the doctor will be doing.
The final CE is a written report that describes the results of an exam and all of the findings and test results. The doctor will draft a summary of their opinion on your condition and your abilities. For example, they might say you can stand or walk for X hours a day, and so on. There is a space for professional opinions, such as a doctor finding you will struggle with communication or find it difficult to get in and out of a crouching position during work, and so on.
It can be nerve-wracking to prepare for a CE. The team at Disability Help Center is here to help with all SSDI claims and can help you prepare for your CE and get the best results.