Here are some common questions I hear when Social Security schedules an evaluation or examination with one of their doctors:
Do I have to attend the consultative examination?
Since you are applying for Social Security benefits, you have a duty to assist Social Security in obtaining the information it needs to evaluate your case. This includes going to evaluations or examination that Social Security may schedule for you.
So, “yes,” you do have to go the examination.
Of course, Social Security cannot make you attend a consultative examination. But if you do not attend, your case may be denied, or even dismissed.
What if I cannot attend the consultative examination?
If you cannot attend, contact Social Security right away.
However, do not call just any Social Security office. The notice you received when Social Security scheduled the consultative examination should provide the name and telephone number of your case worker.
In Colorado, the consultative examination is usually scheduled through Disability Determination Services (so do not let that name throw you, it is the Colorado agency that performs the initial development, evaluation and determination of your Social Security case). Even though the letter may say, “Disability Determination Services,” it is still part of the Social Security Administration.
Let the case worker know that you cannot attend the examination and the reasons why you cannot attend.
TIP: keep a log of any telephone calls between yourself and Social Security, including date, time, who you speak to, and a summary of the conversation.
WATCH OUT: I have seen several cases where an individual called Disability Determination Services and cancelled an evaluation only to receive a denial a short time later because they “did not keep the scheduled evaluation.” Unfortunately, your only recourse is to appeal the denial.
Keep in mind that if Social Security denies you for missing an evaluation, it is a safe bet that the judge will ask you why you missed the consultative examination when your case goes to hearing. This is where your log showing your communication with Social Security can come in handy.
If you have kept a log of your communication with Social Security regarding the cancellation of your consultative examination and your attempts to reschedule, you have a better chance of convincing the judge that missing the consultation should not be held against you.