The medical exam, or consultative exam, is a crucial part of the Social Security disability claim process. After the Social Security Administration (SSA) has received an application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, your claim will be submitted to an Illinois Disability Determination Services adjudicator, who will gather additional information and make an initial determination on your social security disability claim. The adjudicator may also set an appointment for a medical examination to be performed by a doctor who is paid by the SSA.

The doctors who perform consultative exams are not SSA doctors; rather, they are doctors who have contracted with the SSA to provide medical services. Once the exam is scheduled the adjudicator will notify you of the consultative exam, along with the exam’s date, time and location. It is extremely import that you attend the medical exam because the failure to attend this medical exam will almost certainly result in a denial of your disability benefit claim.

In some limited cases, the adjudicator may not schedule a medical exam. For instance, if the applicant receives regular medical treatment for his or her disabling medical condition and the medical records support a finding of disability, the SSA may find that there is no need to require that the applicant submit to a subsequent exam. The burden, however, is on the applicant to show that a subsequent independent exam is not necessary.

The consultative exam is performed at the doctor’s office, not at one of the SSA’s office locations. The consultative exam is generally very brief and no medical treatment is provided. Instead, the examining physician will gather information about your medical condition and submit his or her findings to the SSA adjudicator who requested the medical exam.

The Chicago disability lawyers at Ankin Law Offices have the skill and knowledge necessary to help through the entire application process for SSDI or SSI benefits, including guiding you through the medical examination process. Contact one of the Chicago social security lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC at (800) 442-6546 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you pursue your Social Security disability claim.

Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC ( handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and


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