Upon submitting your application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you may receive a notice from the Social Security Administration to attend a consultative exam. You may have been unaware of this step when reviewing the application process ahead of you. Continue reading to learn whether you are required to attend a consultative exam and how an experienced New Jersey SSDI attorney at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur can help you properly prepare for it.
Am I obligated to attend a consultative exam?
Well, a consultative exam is not necessarily a required step in every SSDI benefits application process. But if the SSA advises explicitly you to schedule one, you must follow through.
This is because the purpose of a consultative exam is to have a contracted medical provider conduct an evaluation on you and obtain additional medical information on you. This extra medical information may be necessary if the SSA believes that you provided an insufficient amount of information in your initial application.
With that being said, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) may ask a contracted medical provider to gather the following data for their report:
- The current medical history of your primary impairments that you allege as the reason for not working.
- The past medical history of any other significant illnesses, injuries, operations, hospitalizations, etc. that you have experienced.
- A list of the name, dose, and frequency of your current medication(s).
- A general observation from your physical examination.
- An interpretation of your laboratory and imaging tests.
- A medical opinion on your ability to perform the demands of your work activities.
Am I allowed to bring an interpreter with me?
Of note, the outcome of your consultative exam may make or break your opportunity to receive SSDI benefits. This is why you must properly prepare for it; this may include bringing a trusted interpreter to support you during your appointment. You must seriously consider this option if English is not your native language. According to the SSA, your interpreter must meet the following criteria:
- They must read, write, and speak fluently in English and your native language.
- They must understand basic medical and social welfare terminology in English and your native language.
- They must not have a personal stake in the outcome of your SSDI benefits application.
- They must be trusted to maintain the confidentiality of this appointment.
Rest assured, if you cannot find an individual that meets the aforementioned criteria, the SSA will provide you with one, free of charge. In the end, you must schedule an initial consultation with a skilled New Jersey SSDI attorney as soon as possible. Our team at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur will be anticipating your phone call.