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Social Security Disability Consultative Examination

July 22, 2022

By Shelley W. Elovitz, Esquire

When applying for Social Security Disability Benefits, Social Security has the right to order a consultative examination and you must cooperate. Failure to attend this examination without a good reason (such as illness) may result in a denial of benefits for lack of cooperation.

As mentioned in our previous article, “Hearing from the Bureau of Disability Determination,” A Consultative Examination is ordered when Social Security needs additional information to make a disability determination. The exam can be a psychological examination, physical examination, or medical tests (x-rays, breathing tests, etc.).

Whether or not Social Security has scheduled you for an examination, we may request that a consultative examination be ordered. Often, we will request a Psychological Consultative Examination. This is not because we think that you are crazy or mentally ill. This is because it has been our experience that people who have long standing pain, disability, and a major change in lifestyle often become depressed. Depression must be considered by Social Security when they are determining your ability to work.

We may also ask you to schedule an appointment at your local Mental Health Center or with a psychologist and/or psychiatrist in your area. A Mental Health Center is a facility where you can get psychological counseling on a sliding price scale according to your income. Again, this is not because we think you are mentally ill, but we are concerned that you may be suffering from depression. Mental health treatment will allow us to obtain evidence to support any depression which you may have.

It is not unusual to be denied after submitting your paperwork at this point in the process. In fact, we generally counsel our clients to expect a denial. If you do receive a denial from Social Security, let us know immediately and we will forward the appropriate appeal forms (Request for Reconsideration/Request for Hearing by an Administrative Judge) for you to complete.

If you have questions about applying for Social Security Disability, contact us online or call (412) 338-1183.

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