What is a Consultative Exam?

A Consultative Exam (CE) is a medical examination. Some people who have applied for social security disability benefits are asked to have a consultative exam by the DDS examiner who is handling their claim. You will receive a letter asking for a consultative exam if one is needed.

If your medical records do not have enough documentation, if your application is missing a recent x-ray, or if you have not been seen by your doctor recently, then the DDS examiner may ask for a CE. This is his/her way of gathering more information regarding your condition and limitations which will further help in determining your case.

The CE will not be performed by your own doctor but by a doctor who is contracted by the Social Security Administration.

The DDS examiner will request the information or tests that are needed from the physician. Your exam may include a physical, psychiatric or psychological evaluation and may or may not include blood work, x-rays or an eye exam. The examining physician will not prescribe any medication or treatment for you.

The examination process will not take long at all. In fact, one criticism of CEs is that they tend to be too short. The examination may take 10 minutes at the most. Some examinations may be longer, but it will depend on who your doctor is and what their workload is for that day.

Be sure that you attend the CE if you are asked to go. If you do not attend, it may give the examiner a reason to dismiss your claim. If you are unable to attend a scheduled exam, contact your DDS examiner or the CE physician to reschedule as soon as you know you will not be able to make your appointment.

Some do not like CEs because the doctor does not know them and they may overlook many of the medical issues the client has due to the quickness of the procedure. If you do not want to have a CE, make sure your medical documentation is as detailed as possible.

Some documentation you can submit to reduce your chances include:

  • Documents from a recent medical exam. Your chances of a CE will go up if you have not had a recent exam.
  • X-rays, or anything else that may prove your disability and present your case in the best way possible.
  • Proper contact information for your doctor.

Of course, it’s always possible that you can still get flagged for a CE, while someone else who has little documentation will miss the process. When you submit your application to receive disability benefits, be prepared.

Most CEs occur without any problems, though. Don’t be afraid when you go in. Explain your problems, get the procedure done, and see what happens. It may take a bit for the results to come back, so be patient. If you have any other questions or concerns, do not be afraid to contact the social security office.

If your CE did not do your disability justice, contact Disability Help Center Nevada for any SSI help.

We can assist you if you need help with Social Security, are considering an SSI lawyer, or if you’re applying for Social Security in Nevada. By calling us at 855-704-4222 or through email or fax, we can answer any Social Security help requests you have.