Mental Consultative Exam
What does Mental Consultative Exam mean?
Mental Consultative exams can be requested by the SSA if they do not have enough information to determine if a claimant is disabled. Mental consultative examiners are independent, mental health physicians who have contracted to perform examination services for the SSA. They are not employees of the Federal Government.
Mental consultative exams are not considered medical treatment. It is simply a cursory exam to gather more information about the applicant so the SSA can make a better disability determination based on the mental condition and various limitations of the claimant.
The consultative exam is generally not the best way to try to win SSDI or SSI benefits. The exams are generally short, and the doctor who conducts a consultative examination may never have seen the claimant before. Information gathered at a five or ten minute examination, especially for a mental health claim, cannot be as thorough or as helpful as information gathered from a claimant's own mental health specialist over a period of months or years. The bottom line: these exams are a poor substitute for information gathered through a doctor/patient relationship.