If you have suffered an injury or illness that does not allow you to work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability. Presenting medical evidence of your condition is an important part of seeking approval. Though your treating doctor could provide a thorough report of your condition, the Social Security Administration may ask for a consultative examination.
The Social Security website explains that a CE is a medical exam that can supply evidence of your condition in the event other evidence is not sufficient. A CE provides clarification and context for your disability claim and could make the difference in your approval.
Your own doctor
Social Security may accept a CE conducted by the same doctor or medical source that has been treating you. In fact, Social Security considers your medical source to be the preferred party to handle the exam. In addition, Social Security will pay the fee for the CE.
You may feel relieved at this option since you are probably more comfortable with your own treating doctor conducting the exam. However, if you have reasons to prefer another medical provider, Social Security will probably allow for it.
A different medical provider
Either you or the Social Security Administration may wish for another health care provider to conduct a CE. Your own medical source might not want to conduct the exam or your source lacks the equipment to provide the data sought by Social Security.
Additionally, Social Security may not view your medical source as qualified to carry out the exam. The agency may have concerns about inconsistent data that your source provided in the initial exam and does not believe your doctor will be able to clear them up with a CE.
Choosing a second medical source
You want to have a trusted medical provider examine you, so if you suspect your primary treating doctor may not be enough to convince Social Security of your need for disability, check out other doctors in advance. Some background checks of doctors you are not familiar with may help you feel better about proposing one of them for a possible CE if needed.