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What is included in a consultative exam for disability benefits?

People in Georgia and across the nation who are applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits need to provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) with the medical evidence necessary to prove an impairment exists, rendering them unable to work. If the SSA finds that the evidence submitted from the applicant's medical source is insufficient for the SSA to decide whether the applicant has such an impairment, the SSA may ask the applicant to undergo a consultative exam.

After the consultative exam, a report will be created. The report will contain the applicant's chief medical complaints. It will also contain a detailed history of said complaints.

In addition, the report will describe any applicable positive and negative details regarding the applicant's chief complaint, based on the exam, the applicant's medical history and any lab tests that were performed. This will also include whether there are abnormalities. Any results stemming from medical tests, the applicant underwent in concordance to the "Listing of Impairments," will be included, as will the examiner's diagnosis and prognosis for the applicant's medical condition.

If the applicant is an adult, the consultative exam report will describe what the applicant is capable of doing, in spite of his or her medical condition. This includes the applicant's ability to perform certain physical activities that may be found in the workplace, such as sitting, standing or walking. This may also include the ability to lift or carry things, as well as the ability to push or pull things.

It will also include a description of the applicant's mental abilities. This includes a description of the applicant's memory, ability to concentrate and persist. It also includes whether an applicant is capable of following instructions, as well as work under pressure. A description of the applicant's ability to use his or her senses, such as his or her sense of sight or hearing will be included, as well as the applicant's ability to withstand environmental conditions in the workplace.

A consultative exam is not necessary for every application for disability benefits, but when it is, it is important to understand what it will contain. Those who have applied for SSD benefits and have been asked to undergo a consultative exam may want to consult with an attorney, to better understand how such an exam will affect his or her application for benefits.

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