Consultative Exams: What are they? Why are they conducted? And how they may benefit you?

 Consultative examinations are medical exams paid for by the Social Security Administration (SSA). They are conducted by either an independent M.D. or psychologist. These doctors do not work directly for the SSA, but are simply independent doctors who are contracted by the SSA for the purpose of conducting the exams.

Why are they conducted?

Consultative examinations are conducted to obtain additional needed documentation to make a medical decision on a disability case. The results of this exam will help the Administrative Law Judge determine whether your claim is favorable or unfavorable. The SSA may find a claimant a good candidate for a consultative exam if they do not have a primary care physician or if they have not had any recent medical treatment.  

Benefits of Consultative Examinations

Consultative examinations may benefit the claimant’s case because they may provide additional diagnoses or limitations not addressed in the claimant’s file. It is also important to note that these exams are paid for by the SSA, with no out-of-pocket costs to the claimant. These exams may solidify the case by adding objective evidence in favor of the claimant, which may be missing from their file. If the results from a consultative exam lean in favor of the claimant’s case, it would be increasingly difficult, on the part of the disability examiner, to take a position that opposes the claimant’s case. 

By: Matt Liebenhaut