In New York, an agency known as the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (“OTDA”) decides if the medical evidence supports an application for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits. For the most part, the OTDA’s decision is based upon the opinion of doctors from IMA Disability Services. IMA is the company that provides the doctors to examine disability claimants, even though the exam should be performed by a treating doctor.
I represent a 48 year old highway worker with elbow, CTS, and back problems. The OTDA scheduled the claimant four different times for a consultative examination (“CE”). The OTDA sent my client a letter saying that his SSD application would be denied if he refused to attend the CE.
We had previously notified the OTDA in writing, that the claimant had already appeared not once, not twice, but three times, for a CE. However, IMA failed to cooperate by refusing to examine him because he wanted to record the CE.
We advised that if the claimant’s application were denied for "failure to cooperate," then we would ask the Attorney General’s office to investigate that assertion. The claimant’s SSD application was approved without a CE by IMA.