Question: Why is Social Security sending me to their doctor?
Answer: Social Security’s answer to this question is that they could not get enough information from your doctors to make a decision. Usually, this answer is accurate. Many of the people Social Security sends out for what they call a consultative examination are receiving little or no medical care. Social Security could just deny these claims but they make an effort to get some information about them in the only way they can.
We hear that sometimes overworked disability examiners send Social Security claimants out for a consultative exam because they are looking for a way to delay doing anything with the case because they’re so swamped. Rarely, an Administrative Law Judge sends a claimant out for a consultative examination because they don’t like the opinion they are receiving from the treating physician.
Consultative examinations usually neither help nor hurt a disability claim. They are usually pretty worthless. The physician sees the claimant only once and lacks authority to order all the tests that might be needed to properly evaluate the claimant. Consultative examiners usually aren’t all that highly motivated to do a really thorough exam or write up a good report. Usually, these reports only tell you what you could already figure out from whatever scanty records were available.