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Consultative Examination

Consultative Examination, RepresentMyselfSometimes a Disability Determination Services (DDS) examiner who is handling a case will request a consultative exam (CE) as part of the social security disability benefits process.  A CE is a medical exam, and if there is a request for one, an applicant can expect to receive a letter with this request.

There are many different reasons why a DDS examiner may request a CE, but they can include: missing documentation from medical records, missing medical reports or tests, or if your doctor has not seen you in a prolonged period of time.

The CE process allows the DDS examiner the ability to obtain more information on a particular applicant to help support a determination.  It helps identify the limitations and more details regarding an individual’s condition.

When a CE is performed, it is not performed by your personal doctor, but by a doctor contracted by the Social Security Administration.

The contracted doctor will receive requests for the specific examinations or tests that are needed from the DDS examiner.

Consultative Examination, RepresentMyselfThe doctor will then perform the tests and gather the information requested for the DDS examiner but not prescribe any treatments or medications.  If you are given a CE, make sure you attend.

Not attending a CE can give a DDS examiner a reason to dismiss a claim, so attending is important.  If there is no way to attend the exam, then notify your DDS examiner or the CE physician as soon as you know. Reschedule for a time that will work around any schedule issues or life events that obstructed the original appointment.