The application process for getting Social Security Disability benefits can be long and complicated. Once your application has been submitted, you may consider the task complete but the Social Security Administration (SSA) could have other ideas. If they need more information about your medical condition, they could ask you to undergo a special medical exam, called the Disability Consultative Exam. Read on to learn more about this special exam and what it means:
What is the purpose of this exam?
As you know, your medical condition is one of the main qualifiers for getting benefits and the SSA needs to see proof of recent, reliable and regular medical care in regard to your condition. If your medical proof was lacking in some way, they may need to have you examined by their own doctor to determine your condition. Once you have been notified of this exam, your application process is essentially "frozen" until you comply and complete the exam, so don't ignore this request.
What to know about this exam.
The Disability Consultative Exam must be performed by a doctor of the SSA's choosing, usually a physician on a contracted status. The exam is free of charge, and will normally take place in a convenient location. Just as with your typical medical visit, it will include having your vital signs checked (blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, weight). The doctor will then question you about your medical condition and physically examine you, placing emphasis on the body part or area of disability. In some cases, diagnostic tests are ordered, such as x-rays and lab work.
What about emotional and mental conditions?
Not all conditions can be evaluated using physical exams, and if you are applying for benefits because of a different type of condition your Consultative Exam will also be different. You will be evaluated by a mental health professional, such as a Psychiatrist or Psychologist if you are suffering from a mental condition such as depression, that makes it impossible to do your job.
What happens next?
After the exam, the doctor or other professional will report the findings to the SSA, who will render a decision on your benefits. This exam often comes at the end of the application process, so your next steps will either be an approval or a denial of benefits. If you are denied, which is quite common, you are entitled to file an appeal. This is the time to seek help from a Social Security attorney to help you through the appeals process and get you the benefits you need.
Check out a website like http://www.johnehornattorney.com for more information and assistance.