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What are the components of a consultative evaluation for SSDI?

About a month ago we discussed some of the information that a treating physician in Ohio might give to the Social Security Administration (SSA) after completing a Consultative Evaluation (CE.) This evaluation is sometimes requested by the SSA when the application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income does not contain enough information for a decision to be made. The CE might be done by the applicant’s own doctor, or a medical professional chosen by SSA. These examinations are generally more common in applications concerning mental conditions, as these conditions may be harder to prove through physical evidence than those based upon physical disabilities.

We previously focused on the mental status evaluation component of a CE and what a doctor is looking for to place in his or her report to SSA. Today we will take a look at the social/familial and physical exam components. A physician conducting a CE will report to SSA the relationship the applicant has with his family, any legal or occupational problems that may have occurred in the past, his or level of education, any hobbies or other social group activities the applicant may engage in, any history of substance abuse and what occurred when the patient attempted to return to work.

The physical exam will consist of various observations of the applicant’s basic physical capabilities. The doctor will report what he or she observed in relation to the applicant’s motor function, such as twitches or other involuntary movements, or any lethargy or excitability or restlessness in such movements. The physician will also report how the applicant arrived at the examination, for example, whether he or she drove or took public transportation. Finally, the doctor will speak to the applicant’s physical appearance, such as whether it spears the applicant is taking care of him or herself and is cooperative with the examination.

Receiving SSDI for a mental illness can be difficult and frustrating. Getting enough evidence together to prove the disorder and its effects may be complicated. Many Ohio residents in this situation consider speaking with a disability attorney.

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