More Medical Proof: The Social Security CME

When a medical condition has made it impossible for you to work at your job you may be able to get Social Security benefits. This program provides monthly payments to those who are too sick or hurt to work, but you must be prepared to show proof of your medical condition. When the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires more information about your medical issue, they may request that you undergo a consultative medical exam (CME). Read on learn more about your CME.

Is this request a routine part of the application process?

Unfortunately, no. Only applicants who have failed to comply with medical proof of their condition are asked to have this exam performed before they are approved for benefits. Since the SSA needs medical proof of your issue, you will not be allowed to move forward in the process until this exam has been completed. In most cases, applicants that must undergo a CME provided incomplete or no records, provided records that did not show recent treatment or where the medical condition did not fit the SSA criteria. If you want benefits, you really have no choice but to participate in the exam.

How does the CME process work?

You likely have not experienced an exam like the CME, since it is performed using a medical doctor who is under contract with the SSA. This exam is at no cost, but you won't be receiving any treatment either. Instead, the medical condition that you claimed to be afflicted with is the focus of the exam. For example, if you have carpal tunnel syndrome in your wrists, then the CME doctor will be examining and manipulating your wrists only.

You will also need to speak about your condition using facts, so a refresher of how the injury began to affect you might be in order. The doctor and the SSA are trying to establish that you not only have a qualified medical condition but that the condition is severely impacting your ability to do your job. The doctor will be comparing the actions you used on your last job to the actions that you can now do (or not do).

After the exam

Once the doctor has submitted the results of the evaluation to the SSA, you will likely hear back in a few weeks. In many cases, you will find that you have been denied benefits. It's important that you not get upset or discouraged by this denial since they are very common with benefit applicants. You are entitled to an appeal, and speaking to your local disability lawyers about getting your claim pushed through is vital. Seek help and get approved for the benefits you need and deserve.