What To Know About Your Social Security Disability Medical Exam

If you can no longer work at your job due to a medical problem, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disabled workers a way to draw monetary benefits. There can be numerous roadblocks on the road to finally getting benefits, and one of the biggest might be the consultative medical exam (CME). This is no ordinary medical exam, so read on to learn more about it and how the results will affect your ability to get benefits.

Is this a routine exam? Unfortunately, the answer is "no". To qualify for benefits, applicants must present evidence of their medical problem to the SSA. Being unable to work because of a medical issue is only part of the story; you also must show that:

1. You have been receiving regular medical care.

2. You are following treatment guidelines, complying with diagnostic tests and taking all prescribed medications.

3. You are keeping your appointments and have seen a doctor in the last few months, depending on the alleged severity of your condition.

4. You are prepared to present a complete set of medical records to prove the above.

For example, carpel tunnel syndrome is a common condition of the wrist and hand that affects the ability to do small motor tasks. If your job involved using a sewing machine, keyboard or small assembly work, your wrist may become too inflamed to continue to work. In some cases, this condition can be alleviated by surgery, but not always. If your records show that you got inadequate medical care and failed to follow treatment orders, you may be denied benefits even if you know all too well how painful your condition really is.

What should I expect at this exam? The SSA has contracted this task out doctors who specialize in performing these types of exams, and you will not be charged for it. You should continue to see your usual doctor for any treatment since this exam is more of a check to evaluate your condition and not a regular visit.

The CME physician will pay close attention to whatever body part or area that you claimed on your application was making you unable to work at your job. The doctor will manipulate the area and may order diagnostic tests like an x-ray to further evaluate the issue.

Seek legal help: The fact that the SSA is asking you to undergo this exam may be a sign that all is not well with your application. You should be prepared to for a denial and seek immediate legal help when you get that letter of adversarial notice. A Social Security or dui attorney can assist you at the appeal hearing to get the benefits you need and deserve.