How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay
The Psychologist Exam for Social Security Disability and SSI Claims
Those who file for Social Security Disability with an alleged mental condition (physical and mental impairments listed on disability applications are classified as “allegations” until the examiner has decided the claim) are often sent for a mental consultative examination (CE).
Mental consults are like physical consultative exams in that they are used by disability examiners to help establish the claimant’s current medical state. Oftentimes, it is the case that those with mental disorders have received little if any medical treatment for their condition, so it’s difficult for a disability examiner to determine the nature and scope of the impairment and how it affects the claimant’s ability to work.
Before a disability examiner can make a decision on a claim for SSD or SSI, he has to have recent medical evidence; Social Security has defined “recent” as within the past three months. However, even if you have had medical treatment for a mental condition within this timeframe, the examiner can order a mental exam for further clarification.
The scope of a mental consultation is narrow, and does not include the evaluation of any physical symptoms, such as pain, inability to lift, bend, drive, etc. Instead, the mental consult is used to determine such things as memory function (the memory scale exam), impaired cognitive function (IQ tests, concentration tasks, etc.), and social skills (ability to function in a social or work environment).
Psychological exams are usually performed by psychologists with independent practices who do not work for the Social Security Administration, but who have signed a contract to perform mental exams for the SSA. Mental exams, like physical consultative exams, are usually brief, and their findings alone will not determine the approval or disapproval of a claim.
However, they can be very influential to the disability examiner deciding the case, and for this reason it is important that those who are scheduled for a mental exam make every effort to attend, or to notify the Social Security office as soon as they become aware of a schedule conflict.
If you are able to gather medical records for your mental (or physical) medical condition and provide them to Social Security up front (which could mean supplying them at the time of application, or delivering them to a disability examiner after the claim has been initiated), it can make the process run more smoothly and efficiently, and could mean a faster turnaround on a decision in your case.
Disability examiners sometimes request medical records several times before receiving them, and in a very few cases the records are simply not given to the examiner unless the patient himself picks them up and hand-delivers them to the local Social Security office.
What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?
Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?
How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?
Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved
What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?
What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Receiving a Disability Award Letter
Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
Applying for disability in your state
Most popular topics on SSDRC.com
Social Security Disability SSI Questions
The listings, list of disabling impairments
Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?
Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials
How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?
How to apply for disability for a child or children
Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application
Filing for disability - when to file
How to apply for disability - where to apply
Qualifications for disability benefits
How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits
Qualifying for Disability - The Process
How to get disability for depression
Getting disability for fibromyalgia
SSI disability for children with ADHD
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability
Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips
More Social Security Disability SSI Questions
Social Security Disability SSI definitions
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?
New and featured pages on SSDRC.com
Who can help me file for disability?
How far back will SSI disability pay?
Automatic Disability Conditions for Social Security and SSI
Should I have a lawyer working on my disability case?
Social Security Administration Mental Consultative Exam (CE)
Do the Results of the Social Security Psychological Exam have any Bearing on Being Approved?
What does it mean if Social Security sends you to a Psychiatrist?
Getting a Social Security Disability Determination After Seeing a Psychologist at a Mental Evaluation
The Psychologist Exam for Social Security Disability and SSI Claims
Social Security Disability Mental Testing
Getting approved for mental disability benefits in North Carolina
Social Security Disability Waiver of Overpayment
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability and medical conditions you can apply for
Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
Permanent Social Security Disability
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?
What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.
The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.
To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.