If you can no longer work at your job because of a medical condition, you may need to apply for benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). While it can take a long time for your benefits to be approved, it can mean a valuable monetary boost for your monthly budget. One of the main qualifications the SSA is looking for is proof of your medical condition. Only certain conditions qualify and you must be able to show that your condition is making it impossible to work at your job. In some cases, the SSA may ask you to undergo a special exam, so read on to learn more.
Why does the SSA want me to be examined?
The SSA needs to see adequate proof of your medical condition, and in most cases, you must provide a complete set of medical records that show ongoing and recent treatment for your condition. If the SSA feels that the proof you have provided is inadequate or inconclusive, they may ask you to undergo what is known as a consultative exam. This exam is done free of charge by a medical doctor that is contracted by the SSA. This exam is a requirement of being approved for benefits if you refuse then your application will be denied. It's important to understand, however, that undergoing this exam does not guarantee you approval for benefits either.
What will happen at the exam?
This exam is a bit different from a normal medical exam since you will not be getting any treatment and no medications or advice will be dispensed. In some cases, you will also be asked to undergo additional diagnostic tests, such as x rays or lab work. You can expect the doctor to focus exclusively on the part of your body that you claim is causing you to be unable to work at your job.
What happens after the exam?
Once your exam is complete, you will receive the findings by mail in few weeks. Since this exam is often the final step in the application process, you may also receive your final determination of eligibility very soon as well. While the fact that you were asked to undergo this exam does not necessarily mean that you are about to be denied benefits, it does show that the SSA is doubting your medical qualification. If you are denied benefits, it's very important that you understand that being turned down on your initial application is not uncommon. You have the right appeal the decision, and you should do so with the help of a Social Security attorney or law firm.