In Monday’s post, we discussed the reasons that the Social Security Administration (SSA) may request that an applicant for disability benefits go through a “consultative exam.” The purpose of these exams is to get a clearer medical history and understanding of the applicant’s disabling condition before making a decision on whether or not to approve benefits.
Unfortunately, these consultative exams may in fact hurt an applicant’s chances of being approved for benefits in the long run. There is evidence that suggests these exams are not very thorough and may not help an applicant give the SSA a full understanding of his or her disability.
A doctor who is contracted by the SSA to evaluate an applicant’s disability has never before met the applicant. Preferably, an applicant would have a relationship with a doctor who understands his or her medical history and could provide a clearer understanding of the applicant’s debilitating condition. When a doctor only has one meeting to understand an applicant’s entire medical history, important factors and history may be omitted or not communicated to the SSA.
Some applicants who have been through consultative exams also complained that the doctor’s meeting with them was very short, and some reported the doctor only spoke with them for five to 10 minutes.
Receiving a request for a consultative exam is not terrible news, though. It means the SSA has not rejected your application, but still needs more information from you to make a fully informed decision. An experienced attorney can help you navigate this important time, even after your application has been submitted. It is not too late. If you have questions about your application for disability benefits, do not hesitate to contact our Tulsa Social Security Disability lawyers for a free evaluation of your case. You may also reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404.