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What if I need a consultative exam for my SSD benefits?

Some New Jersey applicants for Social Security disability benefits will not be approved right away. There are times when the Social Security Administration will need more information before deciding on a claim. This is when a consultative examination might be requested. People who are seeking SSD benefits should be cognizant of all the various medical requirements that are needed to be approved. It might be worrisome to have a consultative examination, but it does not automatically mean the application will be denied.

The SSA can ask for a consultative examination for many reasons. Included are the following: to accrue more evidence because what they have is not sufficient to make a decision on the application one way or the other; more medical findings in greater detail are needed regarding the person's impairment; specific medical or technical information is needed; there is a conflict in the medical findings that the SSA already has; there is an issue regarding the person's ability to perform substantial gainful activity for an adult; or there is an issue in determining a child's ability to function as other children of the same age do.

The SSA will pay for the consultative examination. It will be conducted by the applicant's preferred medical source. However, depending on the circumstances, they might be required to use a different source. If it is necessary for the applicant to travel, the SSA will pay the travel expenses. A claimant who refuses to have a consultative examination without a good reason for doing so will have the decision made based on the information that is already in the file. Given that the SSA requested the consultative examination, this will often mean that the claim will be denied if an applicant refuses to have the examination.

People who are having issues that result in a disability must be aware of the various aspects of applying for SSD benefits. One is the potential request that a consultative examination be taken. For this and any other problem or concern related to applying, a legal professional experienced in Social Security Disability can be of assistance.

Source: Social Security Administration, "616. Consultative Examinations," accessed on Sept. 18, 2017

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