Why Social Security May Call For Independent Medical Examination

Law Blog

Independent medical examination (IME) isn't a requirement from everybody applying for Social Security Disability benefits. However, some people may be required to undergo it before their application can be processed. Here are three situations in which the Social Security Administration may send you to an independent medical examiner:

Your Doctor Prefers Not To Perform the CE

Doctors aren't obliged to perform the consultative examination for Social Security.  Your doctor may decline to give the examination for one reason or another. For example, the doctor may decline to give the examination due to a busy workload. Since fees for these examinations are set by the Social Security, your doctor may prefer not to give you the CE if they feel the fees are too low and their time may be more valuable elsewhere. Whatever your doctors reason for boycotting the examination, you still have to be examined, so the SSA will send you to an independent examiner.

The SSA Has Unfavorable Experience with Your Doctor

The SSA has been sending people for medical examinations for many years, so it's likely that they have dealt with many doctors in your area. If their experience with your doctor has been less-than-satisfactory, they may prefer to send you to an independent doctor instead. For example, it may be that your doctor hasn't been cooperative with prior clients before or always sends incomplete examination reports.

Your Doctor Lacks the Necessary Equipment

The SSA determines the information it needs to handle your applications. Your doctor may be unable to supply the information required by the SSA if the doctor doesn't have the necessary equipment to conduct the tests. In this case, you will be referred to an independent medical examiner with the necessary equipment.

Your Doctor Is Unavailable

Lastly, you may also get sent to an independent examiner if your treating physician is unavailable. This usually happens if you haven't been treated by a doctor for a long time, and you have moved (or your doctor has moved). To make matters worse, this gap in treatment may also raise the need for medical examination because your health status may have changed from the last time you were treated. In such a case, you may be sent to an IME instead of wasting resources to locate your former treating physician.

Whatever reasons send you to the independent medical examiner, its best to comply with the SSA's directives because failure to do so may get your case dismissed. However, it's in your best interest to consult an attorney before going for the exam. Your doctor will prepare you for the example, educate you on what to expect and how to behave during the examination.

For more information, contact Todd East Attorney at Law or a similar legal professional.


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Choosing To Fight

Although I am far from perfect, I have focused on abiding by the local laws for the vast majority of my life. Unfortunately, about five years ago, I realized that I was being accused of a crime that I didn't commit. I thought about letting the trial run its course, but then I realized that fighting would be important to ensure my future. I teamed up with a great lawyer, and things became much easier overnight. My legal counsel told me what to do and what to avoid, and he was able to prove the facts in a court of law. This blog is all about choosing to fight charges.