If you are no longer able to work at your job and have applied for Social Security benefits, you may be asked by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to undergo a special kind of medical exam. This exam, called the consultative medical exam (CME) is meant to give the SSA more information about your medical condition, and the result of it could have a huge impact on your ability to get benefits. Read on for what you need to know about the CME.
Does everyone have to undergo this exam?
Not everyone is asked to appear at this exam. The ability to get qualified for SSA benefits is directly related to your medical condition. You must not only have a condition that prevents you from doing your job, but it must appear on the SSA's list of covered conditions, and you must be able to show proof that you are suffering from that condition. You should have been receiving medical treatment for your condition and have proof of that treatment in the form of treatment records from your doctor. If you lack enough records or your treatment has not been recent enough, you may be asked to undergo the CME. You should consider this request to mean that the SSA is doubting your ability to qualify for benefits but is giving you the opportunity to prove your condition.
What will happen at the CME?
This exam is preformed by a special doctor who is contracted by the SSA just for the purpose of determining medical conditions and how they might prevent applicants for performing work. This exam is free of charge, but you will not receive any treatment or prescriptions at it. Your may be given some diagnostic tests in conjunction with this exam.
Your vitals will be checked first (your blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, etc.), just as with most exams, and your particular body area related to your medical condition will be examined closely. For example, if you are having back pain that prevents you from working, the doctor may perform some manipulations on that area to test for discomfort. Additionally, you may be asked to go through some motions that are required in your job to test your ability to work.
You may hear back from the SSA a few weeks after the exam, and you may be given a denial of benefits at this time. Be sure to seek help from a Social Security attorney, since your next step will be to appeal the ruling. Contact a law firm, such as Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law, for more information and help with this process.