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What happens when the SSA requests a special medical examination? — II

Last time, we began discussing how even though the lengthy wait for Social Security disability benefits can prove frustrating given the gravity of an underlying medical condition, applicants must nevertheless be patient and also be prepared for what might seem like administrative obstacles.

To that end, we started exploring the special medical examination, which can be requested by the Tennessee Disability Determination Services if an official there determines that further medical information is required to decide whether you fit the Social Security Administration’s definition of disabled. We’ll conclude this important discussion in today’s post.

What happens at the special medical examination?

The special medical examination will be performed by either your regular treating physician or another physician with whom you are unfamiliar. The examination will only secure the information sought by the Tennessee Disability Determination Services, meaning the physician will not prescribe treatment or medication.

The physician, who will not play any part in the ultimate disability determination, will send the results of the special medical examination to the Tennessee Disability Determination Services and, if requested, to the applicant’s treating physician.

What happens after the Tennessee Disability Determination Services receives the results?

Upon completion of the special medical examination, the Tennessee Disability Determination Services will re-review your entire case file — complete with the new test results — and make a disability determination. A letter outlining the decision will be mailed shortly thereafter.

What if I don’t agree with the decision reached by the Tennessee Disability Determination Services?

As discouraging as a determination that you do not fit the agency’s definition of disabled can be, the good news is that you do have the option of appealing the adverse decision.

What are my responsibilities concerning the special medical examination?

The primary responsibility that you, the applicant, have is to attend the special medical examination. Indeed, if you won’t be able to attend the scheduled exam, it’s imperative to contact the Tennessee Disability Determination Services as soon as possible to make alternate arrangements.

Failure to do so will mean that the agency will make its decision based only on whatever information it has in your file.

Here’s hoping this discussion has helped clarify what can prove to be a confusing issue.

Consider speaking with an experienced legal professional if you have questions about this issue, the initial application process or a claim denial.

Knoxville Family Law Attorney