What if the Disability Examiner is Unfamiliar with my Medical Condition?
The following is from Tld:
"I followed up today and the Disability Examiner said that my case is in the queue for both the unit medical consultant and unit psychological consultant. She said that they are backed up and it could [take] 30 days then she will get it back and complete the write up and submit to the field office where they will send me a letter. I just noticed something tonight though....all my Medical Documentation and my report show my diagnosis of Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN), however, I just found out that the Blue Book 11.14 [refers to it as] Peripheral neuropathies (which is the technical term for TN). Will the Disability Examiner and Unit Medical Consultant know this? Or should I contact her and let her know this? Or is it too late since it is now in the queue?"
It's interesting that you were told it could take as much as 30 days before the disability examiner working on your case actually gets the paperwork back from the medical and mental consultants.
It was once true that, at the outside, a DDS doctor or psychologist might have the writeup in queue for a week at the very most. However, things have changed greatly in recent years. The kind of delay you mentioned just points to how badly cases are backed up. Usually, we just hear about the backlogs at the disability hearing level, but this illustrates that backlogs exist at multiple points in the system.
The disability examiner may or may not have had familiarity with Trigeminal neuralgia. Typically, though, most examiners will look up a condition that they have not encountered before. It's for this reason that they have resource reference works available to them. Certainly, the unit medical consultant, who is an M.D., will be aware of the condition. So, you shouldn't worry about contacting the examiner for this purpose.
Of course, it's always true that it's not really the condition that's preeminent, but the functional limitations that are caused by the condition.
Even in cases where a claimant might have a condition that is included in the blue book (the social security disability list of impairments), satisfactorily meeting or equaling the listing criteria connotes an inability to engage in work activity at a substantial and gainful level.
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