If you have not been able to work at your job because of a medical condition, you may be requested to undergo a special medical exam as part of your application process for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) may need to learn more about your medical condition, particularly if you have not received recent medical treatment for it. To help you understand what this exam, called a consultative exam, means to your Social Security claim, read on.

What happens at this exam?

The doctor who performs this exam is chosen, and paid, by the SSA. While the exam concerns your medical condition, you should not expect to receive any medical treatment or prescriptions from this exam. Just as with most medical exams, the exam will begin with a check of your weight and height, your blood pressure, temperature and heart rate. Most exams consist of the doctor closely checking and evaluating the body part that is affected by your medical condition to determine if your condition is bad enough to prevent you from working at your job. The exam may involve some questioning and often also includes tests, such as blood tests, x-rays and other diagnostic tools. You will not be charged for any part of this exam.

What happens after the exam?

The consultative exam physician will submit a report of your medical condition to the SSA and the report will list what types of work you can be expected to preform, from light duty/sedentary to heavy work. This report can take several weeks and you can expect to wait a few more weeks to hear for the SSA with the result. In most cases, the SSA will use this report as the final factor in determining your benefit eligibility.

What happens if my claim is denied?

Unfortunately, the possibility of being denied benefits after a consultative exam can be high, but you must undergo the exam in order to be provided with a denial. You must possess a denial to proceed to your next step, which is an appeal. Try to regard the consultative exam and the denial as normal parts of the Social Security disability application process, and don't give up. Seek the help of a legal professional at a firm like Shoap Law Offices, who understands how the process works and can stand by your side at the appeal hearing and help ensure that you get the benefits that you need.