Before a disabled individual In Iowa or elsewhere is able to recover Social Security disability benefits, he or she must prove to the federal government that he or she meets certain requirements. The specific requirements vary depending on the injury or illness at hand, but one's claim usually must be supported by medical evidence that shows the existence of the condition, its severity, and its effect on the claimant's day-to-day life.
Many times, though, claimants put forth evidence that indicates that they have a severe medical condition, but the evidence is not strong enough to make a determination of whether the individual is disabled in accordance with federal requirements. In these circumstances, the Social Security Administration may require a claimant to undergo a consultative examination.
The purpose of this this additional examination is to gather more information to make a disability determination. While the preferred provider of this examination is the claimant's own doctor, the SSA may seek an examination from another medical professional if certain characteristics exist, such as the claimant's doctor doesn't have the appropriate equipment to perform necessary tests. The consultative examination is very thorough and, since it is being requested by the SSA, it is sure to gather evidence that answers questions that are pertinent to a SSD claim.
Even though the SSA is the one requesting this evaluation, they are supposed to be independent in nature so that neither side is given an advantage in the claims process. Yet, sometimes medical evidence is contradictory or practices are questionable. This can lead to a denied claim, which is why disabled individuals should do everything they can to ensure their initial claim is as strong as possible before proceeding with it.