The Social Security Administration recently updated its policy regarding the use of video teleconferencing technology for psychiatric and psychological consultative examinations (CEs). Under POMS DI 22510.012, SSA stated that video consultative examinations can be held in areas where qualified psychiatric and psychological CE sources are limited or unavailable and “in situations where claimant cannot access an in-person CE due to incarceration or medical concerns.” The new policy states that if the CE is scheduled by video, the Claimant has the right to request an in-person CE without penalty and only allows video CEs to be performed for psychological exams that do not require any testing and only when the Claimant agrees.
A consultative examination (CE) is an examination by a physician that is ordered by Social Security for Claimants to help decide whether they meet the criteria for Social Security disability. CEs are usually ordered by either the Disability Determination Services or an Administrative Law Judge at the hearing level when the Claimant’s own medical sources are inadequate to determine if the Claimant is disabled. A CE is not conducted in order to provide the Claimant with medical advice or treatment. Rather, it is an examination that is supposed to assess the severity of a Claimant’s medical impairments as well as any limitations that are a result of these impairments. The examination can either be a physical examination or psychological examination. It can also be blood work, x-rays, or a nerve conduction study. SSA’s recent policy regarding video CEs was done in an effort to allow CEs to continue and for claims to move forward despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information on video consultative examinations, contact an experienced Social Security disability attorney at Gardberg and Kemmerly, P.C. at (251) 343-1111. Gardberg and Kemmerly, P.C. represents Social Security disability claimants in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana at all levels of the disability process from initial application to appeals in Federal Court.