The State agency, also known as the Disability Determination Service, usually threatens that an application for disability benefits cannot be approved unless the claimant is examined by an agency doctor. Some of my earlier blogs have addressed the reasons why the regulations provide that the state agency's threats are wrong.
I received two fully favorable decisions yesterday that reinforce the reasons why state agency medical exams are not mandatory in most circumstances. Each decision said that because there was no agency medical opinion, Ruling 96-6p did not apply. That Ruling addresses the weight to be accorded state agency medical opinions.
Ruling 96-6p does not mandate exams by state agency doctors. The two decisions approved disability benefits while explicitly referencing the absence of state agency medical exams. Thus, not only do the regulations explain why state agency medical exams are usually unnecessary, but there is no Ruling that requires them either.