What tests might be performed at a Social Security disability medical exam?


Quick Answer

Some of the tests that may be requested as part of a Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, medical exam are X-rays, blood studies, electrocardiograms and treadmill exercise tests. For disability claims involving issues other than physical ailments, raw psychological test data may be requested. A consultative medical exam, or CE, can be required if the disability insurance applicant is unable to provide adequate medical evidence of their impairment, or if adequate information is not available from the claimant's main treatment source.

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Full Answer

Failure to appear at a scheduled consultative exam or testing appointment may be grounds for a dismissal of an applicant's SSDI claim. The Social Security Administration will, however, allow a rescheduling of the CE, provided that the applicant had a valid reason for the missed appointment, such as a transportation issue or a medical emergency. The applicant is not required to pay for the CE. The physician is paid directly by the Social Security Administration.

In many cases, the information provided by the applicant's main treatment source and past medical history records will carry more weight then the agency-appointed physician conducting the CE. Claim examiners require medical information that is recent, usually less than 60 or 90 days old, and an applicant's inability to provide recent medical treatment records will most likely result in an automatic CE request. The CE may be requested even if it is done mainly as a formality to satisfy the claim's recent-evidence eligibility requirements. Because many applicants who are filing a disability claim based on a psychiatric disorder or mental impairment have not received prior treatment, a mental consultative exam can be a critical part of their eligibility determination.

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