What to Expect From Consultative Exams in Clearwater


The Social Security Administration (SSA) may request a consultative exam in order to gather additional information about the claimant. A consultative exam will look into the person’s medical history and what symptoms and impairments the individual may have. A consultative exam could help show that the claimant does qualify for benefits and what benefits they may be eligible to receive.

An attorney could help you know what to expect from consultative exams in Clearwater. Reach out to an accomplished lawyer today to prepare for your exam.

Medical History

An individual should expect questions from the examiner about the origins of the diagnoses and the specific allegations. The evaluator inquires as to when the medical conditions began and if and when the nature of the conditions changed. Many conditions worsen over time while others may improve after specific medical treatment. A claimant wants to provide as much background information regarding their medical history as possible for the evaluator.

Subjective Complaints

The claimant should be prepared to answer questions regarding the nature of their symptoms. With physical complaints, the claimant should be capable of describing the location of pain and how this limit basic activities like walking, sitting, standing, and lifting.

Mental illness complaints may be slightly more difficult for a claimant to explain than physical issues. However, the claimant should highlight how those symptoms interfere with mental tasks. For example, if a claimant is suffering from anxiety and/or depression, how do these symptoms interfere with the person’s ability to maintain attention and concentration for tasks, handle stress, and interact with other people? These factors are evaluated in terms of one’s ability to maintain employment.

Physical Examination

The evaluator should conduct a detailed musculoskeletal examination. The evaluator notes the claimant’s height, weight, and general appearance. Testing includes a range of motion for muscle groups like cervical, lumbar, and thoracic spine as well as the hips, tender point examinations, tests for reflexes, hand-eye coordination, grip strength, and the assessment of the claimant’s ability to ambulate and/or walk effectively.

The doctor checks breathing, heart rate, and examines extremities for swelling. The physical examination usually results in a significant amount of objective results for the administration to evaluate for the claim.

Treatment History

Treatment history includes the date when the medical treatment began and the extent of the treatment. A claimant should have details on their medications and the types of treatment they received. They do not necessarily need the names of the providers as SSA already has that information. However, the claimant should document things like surgery and/or injections, hospitalizations for certain conditions, and the length of the hospitalizations. This way, the evaluator is given a complete picture encompassing all of the conditions the claimant received treated for over the relevant time period.

If you have any questions regarding what to expect from consultative exams in Clearwater, contact an attorney. A seasoned lawyer could ensure that you have all the information you need before your exam. Call a well-versed legal professional today and get started.

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