Thursday, May 17, 2012

IMA Exam Is Not Required

I filed an application for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits for a plumber who became disabled when he was 58 years old. The application was denied because he objected to a consultative examination (“CE”) that IMA Disability Services (“IMA”) was scheduled to perform.

The claimant appealed, and had a hearing before Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Seymour Fier. ALJ Fier contended that unless the claimant attended a CE by IMA he would deny the claim because the issue on appeal was the failure to attend the CE. I argued that because the hearing was de novo, the issue was whether the claimant was disabled, and that the HALLEX and regulations provided that a treating doctor was the preferred source for any CE.

After the hearing, ALJ Fier called me to say that he reviewed the law, and agreed that the rules provide that a treating doctor should perform the CE. He then asked me to arrange a CE with the claimant’s doctor as soon as possible, which I did. Based on the medical records that were already in the file, and the additional records provided after the claimant was re-examined, his SSD application was approved today.

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