A consultative examination is an examination that is ordered by Social Security. It is either a physical examination or a psychological examination, and sometimes a test, such as an X-Ray or function exam. If a person is alleging disability due to physical impairments and Social Security wants a better understanding of their case, SSA could send them for a consultative examination with a doctor who is in their geographical area. Consultative exams are paid for by Social Security. For more information about Tampa SSDI consultative exams, reach out to an experienced lawyer.
Purpose of Tampa SSDI Consultative Exams
The purpose of the Tampa SSDI consultative exam is for Social Security to get a better understanding of the person’s condition. For example, if the person is alleging disability due to mental health impairments, but cannot afford to see a mental health provider on a consistent basis, SSA may send the claimant for a psychological evaluation. The psychological evaluation will be very thorough and produce a diagnosis that will give Social Security a better understanding of their psychological conditions. It is the same process for physical impairments as well.
Why Someone Might be Required to Appear for a Consultative Exam
SSA might require someone to appear for a consultative exam to get a better understanding of their case. Sometimes, it will be used by Social Security to develop their file. There are times when a claim gets to the hearing level and is assigned to a judge. Maybe the judge will order a consultative evaluation to help develop the file to get a better understanding of someone’s physical or mental health conditions.
Evidence Collected at an Exam
The evidence collected at a consultative exam will include a report, similar to a patient questionnaire as if they were going to the doctor. They will indicate what their impairments are that keep them from being able to work and then they will undergo a physical examination. The doctor will ask the individual about their symptoms. They will ask them to do different physical examinations such as bending, walking, and grasping and gripping items. The doctor is trying to assess the person’s physical abilities. It will be the same for a mental health evaluation. The person will provide their doctor with the mental health impairments they suffer from and what their symptoms are. They give them a little bit of their psychological history and their treatment history, and then they will di a mini-mental status examination, which helps them assess exactly what their mental health status is at that time.
Who Can Perform a Consultative Exam?
A physical consultative examination is typically performed by a general practitioner. However, if, for example, they are alleging disability due to an orthopedic problem, then SSA might send them to a specialist for a more detailed examination. If they are alleging disability due to psychological impairment, then it is typically going to be a psychologist who is doing the psychological examination and not a psychiatrist. It is usually conducted by someone who is medically qualified and sometimes specialized in a field.
A claimant’s primary health care physician typically does not perform this examination. A consultative examination is usually a one-time evaluation. Social Security typically prefers that Tampa SSDI consultative exams are performed by a neutral physician who does not already know the claimant, and cannot show any type of bias.