September 26, 2016

The Consultative Exam (CE): Part 2

Hello and welcome to Part 2 of my 3-part mini-series on Social Security Disability consultative exams (CE).  Part 1 is here.  In this post, I discuss how an independent medical examiner is chosen by the SSA for the purposes of conducting a CE.


How does the SSA choose a consultative examination source? Is there a list that they choose from, or do I choose?


First, as I mentioned in an earlier post, consultative examinations are those additional tests and/or examinations requested in order to aide in the disability determination process. When I say “qualified,” that means the source, usually a physician or specialist, is required to be licensed in the state in which the application is being made and to have extensive training and experience in the type of test and/or examination being requested. In many cases, the examiner performing the CE is not your physician, but an independent source contracted by the SSA.

You can be assured that if a consultative examination is requested in your matter, the individual who performs the examination has an extensive understanding of the SSA’s disability programs. He/she is well versed in the evidence needed in order to substantiate a diagnosis of any impairment that you may have. All treating sources are required to comply with any accreditation standards subscribed by the SSA. Likewise, any staff that assists with the CE must meet those strict requirements as well.

In most cases, great consideration is given to the location of the claimant when a treating source is selected. This provides the claimant with a degree of comfort, as he/she is not required to travel extensively in order to submit to the requested testing.

In regard to the second part of your query, the SSA has list of sources available to them for completing a CE. Again, this list is established based on those qualified sources meeting the requirements dictated. Sources are chosen based on appointment availability, ability to perform specific examinations and/or tests, and again, the locale in relation to the claimant.

Click here for Part 3 of my mini-series on the Consultative Exam…

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Jonathan Ginsberg represents Social Security disability claimants in Georgia. In practice for over 29 years, Jonathan publishes a widely known disability blog, a podcast and several disability web sites. In 2004, Jonathan published a "how to" book about Social Security disability called the Disability Answer Guide. Jonathan lives with his wife and 2 children in Atlanta.


  1. George Hrisanthacopoulos says:

    why did ssa cancel my P/C C/E after all the letters they sent me[you most go ]?

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