Consultative Examiners for the DDS
In the absence of sufficient medical evidence from a claimant's own medical sources, SSA may ask (through the State DDS) for more examination(s). These consultative examinations (CEs) are performed by licensed physicians (medical or osteopathic), psychologists — or, in some cases, other health professionals such as optometrists, podiatrists, and speech-language pathologists. All CE sources must be currently licensed in the State and have the training and experience to perform the type of examination or test SSA requests.
Fees for CEs are set by each State and may vary from State to State. Each State agency is responsible for comprehensive oversight management of its CE program.
Medical professionals who perform CEs must have a good understanding of SSA's disability programs and their evidentiary requirements. These medical professionals are also made fully aware of their responsibilities and obligations regarding confidentiality and:
- CE scheduling intervals;
- CE report content;
- Elements of a complete CE;
- When a complete CE is not required; and
- Signature requirements.
(See Part II, Evidentiary Requirements, for more information about CEs.)