What does Consultative Examination mean?
A consultative examination, which is an medical exam performed by a consultative examiner, is requested by the Social Security Administration if they determine they do not have enough medical information to determine if a claimant is disabled, the treating source did not send information to the SSA, or the SSA needs more comprehensive information about the claimant's condition.
The exam provides information to the SSA about the objective physical or mental health status of the claimant. Exams can be performed to evaluate both the mental and physical health of the claimant. After the examination a consultative report is sent to the SSA. The consultative examiner does not make the disability determination but rather provides evidence to the SSA so they can make the determination whether or not the claimant is disabled. They are also not a government employee or an employee of the Social Security Administration.
It is always better to get your own medical care from your own treating source rather than rely on the consultative examination, which historically are not helpful to a claimant's case.