As many of you know while your case for disability is pending, you may be asked to see a doctor appointed by the government to evaluate you. In Ohio these evaluations are set up through the Bureau of Disability Determination in Columbus. The claimant is sent a letter to report to a certain physician at a certain day and time for an evaluation. The question becomes, since this is not your doctor, is this evidence worth while.
Many Administrative Law Judges feel that in order to shed light on a claimant’s impairments, especially when the attending physician cannot provide specific limitations, that these examinations are helpful. At the same time, we often see evaluations that are really out of touch with the realities of the claimant’s situation in that many of these evaluators may feel that they have to make findings favorable to the government to keep the stream of evaluation referrals open. In any event, the claimant has to attend, and not doing so can jeopardize the outcome of a claim.
A recent study on the use of consultative evaluations indicates that use of consultative evaluations by the Bureau of Disability Determination Services in most states is an ongoing process, and therefore it is important for claimants who undergo these exams to be very specific in terms of their limitations and difficulties when they visit one of these evaluating physicians.