When does Social Security send you for a neurological exam?

If I have a neurological medical condition, will Social Security send me to be examined?

Social Security Disability examiners have to have enough objective medical information to make a disability decision. If you have an allegation of a neurological or orthopedic condition, you may find yourself at a neurological examination. Especially so if you do not have medical treatment records, or you have medical treatment but it and the records are more than ninety days old.

Disability examiners are required to have medical evidence that is current in order to make a decision, and current means that evaluation notes or treatment that occurs within the last ninety days.

However, even if the disability examiner looking at your case can find recent medical records for your neurological condition, you may still have to go to a neurological consultative exam.

In some cases, if you have current medical treatment for your neurological condition, they still may not be detailed enough to provide the disability examiner with a clear picture of your condition. Or the disability examiner may not be able to understand your treating physician's notes.

Why would that be the case? Doctors often write their notes in a way that is understandable to them but not for others who are tasked with reviewing the notes.

Also, doctors do not write their treatment notes for Social Security examiners, meaning there is usually insufficient detail to be helpful in making an approval. So there are times when a disability examiner may send you to a neurological examination to have an evaluation of the neurological deficits caused by your condition that could affect you in such a way that it could render you unable to do routine daily activities of living, including work activity.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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