SSDI Consultative Exams: What Claimants Should Know

Law Blog

When it comes to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applications for benefits, a consultative exam refers to a medical examination conducted by a healthcare professional, usually at the request of the Social Security Administration (SSA).

When you apply for SSDI, the SSA reviews your medical records and other supporting documentation to evaluate the severity of your impairments and how they affect your ability to work. In some cases, the information provided may be insufficient, incomplete, or outdated. 

What Is a Consultative Exam?

The consultative exam is typically conducted by a healthcare professional who is contracted by the SSA but is not your regular treating physician. The specific type of healthcare professional you see will depend on your medical condition

During the consultative exam, the healthcare professional will perform a thorough examination, which may include a physical examination, medical tests, interviews, and evaluations tailored to your specific condition. They will gather information about your medical history, symptoms, limitations, and functional abilities. 

How Claimants Should Prepare for the Exam

  1. Familiarize yourself with your medical history, including any diagnoses, treatments, medications, and test results. It's important to be aware of the details of your condition and any recent changes or developments.
  2. Make a list of all the doctors, specialists, therapists, or other healthcare professionals you have seen for your condition. Include their names, addresses, phone numbers, and the dates of your visits. 
  3. Create a comprehensive list of all the medications you are currently taking, including their names, dosages, and frequencies. This list should also include any over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or supplements you use regularly.
  4. Take some time to document your symptoms, including their frequency, duration, and intensity. Describe how these symptoms affect your daily life, work, and ability to perform certain activities. 
  5. Consider any questions or concerns you have about your condition or the SSDI application process. Write them down and bring them with you to the exam. 
  6. Gather any relevant documents related to your condition, such as medical reports, test results, or letters from your healthcare providers. 
  7. During the consultative exam, be honest and provide accurate information about your condition. Answer all questions to the best of your ability and provide detailed explanations when necessary. 

Get the most out of this exam by seeking help from a Social Security lawyer. They can help you be prepared for every aspect of the SSDI applicant and claim process. Speak to a Social Security disability lawyer about your case today.


15 June 2023

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