When you receive a call from the Social Security Administration informing you that you have to appear before them for a consultative examination, it is stressful and worrisome. It means that you’ve gotten through a basic review, but it also means that they have concerns that they want to address before approving or denying your claim. Making the right choices here is important. Learn what the procedure is for the social security consultative exam, what to expect and how to get through it with the help of an attorney.
Social Security Consultative Exam Basics
The first thing you need to understand is that the SSA pays for the social security consultative exam—this won’t cost you to attend. It is likely that your doctor, assuming they have the right equipment and knowledge, will be asked to perform the exam, which can be a source of comfort for you. However, many doctors aren’t comfortable with the procedure, and they are permitted to refuse. In this case, a new doctor can be chosen (and you can have a say in which doctor this is).
You will sit down with your doctor or examiner, and will answer questions about your medical issues both objective and subjective. You will also discuss your medical history and the circumstances leading to your current disability. You will receive a physical exam as well. During this process you won’t get any treatment recommendations; it is merely an assessment of your current state.
Mental Status Exams
If you are claiming a disability related to a mental condition, you may undergo a consultative psychological exam called an MSE, or mental status examination. These are given for those seeking benefits due to severe anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD or the like. In these exams you will take an intelligence test, and the examiner will check your cognition, concentration, judgment, memory and ability to follow instructions as well as other neurological and psychological evaluations.
Overcoming Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are a natural reaction to being called for an exam of this type, but it’s important to remember that this can be a step on the road to getting approved for benefits. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, and it’s vital that you attend the exam. If you need advice about how to get through this evaluation, it can be helpful to talk to a qualified social security disability attorney. A good attorney will have seen clients through many of these and can help to ease your mind about the process and what you need to get through and get approved for your benefits.
Likewise, if you do the exam and are refused, an attorney may be able to help appeal the decision and get you the benefits you need. Read a bit more about how SSDI works, and get in touch with our offices for a consultation about your case today.