Friday, January 15, 2010


Charcot-Marie-Tooth (“CMT”) is an inherited neurological disorder that affects an estimated 2.6 million people. CMT patients gradually lose normal use of their upper and lower extremities as peripheral nerves degenerate and the muscles become weakened because of the loss of stimulation by the affected nerves.

Late September, I filed an application for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits for a 57 year old car salesman with CMT. Three months later, Social Security told my client that he had to see their unnamed doctor, with an undisclosed specialty, for a consultative examination (“CE”) regarding his “bone condition.” Social Security warned that failing to attend the CE could hurt his chances of securing SSD benefits.

My client followed my advice not to attend the CE because CMT was not a bone condition, and because I had already provided detailed medical reports from the claimant’s treating doctors. Four days ago, I received a letter from Social Security stating that they no longer wanted my client to attend the CE. Today, less than four months after filing the SSD application, I received a notice of award approving benefits.

Social Security automatically tells disability claimants that they must attend CEs. However, the Social Security rules and regulations significantly limit the circumstances where a CE is appropriate. A disability claimant should not submit to a CE before carefully determining whether the circumstances warrant it.

No comments: