What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Getting a Social Security Disability Determination After Seeing a Psychologist at a Mental Evaluation
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
If you have applied for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and your disability examiner schedules you for a psychological exam, it typically takes 2 to 3 weeks after the exam to receive a determination from Social Security.
Most consultative exams (CEs), be they physical or mental, are scheduled because the disability examiner needs recent medical information about the status of your condition. Social Security defines “recent” as within the past 90 days, so if you haven’t seen your physician within this time period you will probably be required to attend a CE. There are also some instances in which a CE is needed to clarify issues about your physical or mental condition that are not clear from your medical records.
In the case of the psychological examination, the psychologist who performs the CE has 10 business days after the exam to submit a report to DDS, the state disability determination services agency that decides all initial disability applications and reconsideration appeals for Social Security. Of course, not all physicians meet this deadline, and a prompt response is not guaranteed.
Then there is the matter of the disability examiner’s caseload. If the examiner has a significant backlog, it could be some time after your CE before the examiner has a chance to go over the psychologist’s findings. And, even after reviewing the results of the CE, the examiner must get his unit psychological or medical consultant’s opinion before rendering a decision and submitting that decision to the unit supervisor for review.
However, if you are being sent to a psychological CE, take heart, because this usually signals that the disability examiner has already reviewed your medical and work history, and is only doing what is necessary to tie up any loose ends before making a decision.
Disability examiners are currently dealing with significant backlogs in every state, and generally do everything within their power to close a case as quickly as possible so that they can move on to the next one.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials