Consultative Examination

A consultative examination is any additional exam or test called for when your current medical information is considered insufficient by the SSA in rendering a decisive Social Security Disability determination.

The first source that the SSA calls upon to perform a consultative examination is your personal doctor. Contrary to some people’s opinions, a request for a consultative examination does not necessarily mean the SSA is planning on denying your request for Social Security Disability. The following are reasons they may not consult your doctor and instead request a consultative examination by one of the healthcare professionals associated with the DDS:

  • Your doctor has not cooperated with requests made by the SSA during your Social Security Disability evaluation.
  • Since it is preferred by all to obtain any additional medical information from your treated source, you should maintain good communication with your doctors and follow up on any requests you know the SSA has made of them.

  • Your doctor has refused to do the exam.
  • Some doctors do not care to perform consultative exams because they do not like working with the SSA. You should be sure to communicate to your doctor your desire for them to perform your consultative exam if you are convinced it will impact your Social Security Disability determination.

  • Your doctor is not qualified to perform the consultative exam.
  • Sometimes the SSA simply requires more specific expertise to verify the existence of a particular condition, and will therefore employ someone else.

Regardless of intent, be aware that consultative examinations performed by outside professionals are often not as thorough and may lack necessary background information that could make the difference between your acceptance or denial for benefits. Examine the guidelines for consultative examinations set up for health-care workers by the SSA, referred to as the Green Book, if you suspect your particular SSA field office of foul play in your Social Security Disability determination.