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

Social Security Administration Mental Consultative Exam (CE)

Social Security uses mental consultative examinations to evaluate a variety of mental disorders and conditions. Mental CE examinations are used to determine a disability applicant's current mental limitations. And consultative examination mental health professionals use testing and clinical examinations to provide disability examiners with the necessary information to make their disability determinations.

For example, if the disability applicant alleges mental retardation, organic mental disorders, or learning disorders, the consultative medical professional may administer psychological testing to determine the applicant’s intelligence quotient (IQ).

Standardized psychological testing is used in nearly all cases involving mental retardation. Social Security most often uses the Wechsler IQ testing series to derive a verbal IQ, performance IQ, and a full scale IQ.

However, other tests are available for disability applicants who have sensory, communication, or motor abnormalities or for applicants whose culture and background are not English-speaking.

While IQ testing is most often used in cases that involve mental retardation or learning disabilities, it can be used to evaluate disability applicants who have had cerebral vascular accidents or strokes, organic brain syndrome, or any other situation that involves a compromise in cognitive functioning.

Psychological testing also allows the examining medical professional to make observations about the applicant’s ability to sustain concentration, attention, as well as their ability to perform tasks independently without reminders or prompts. In fact, mental CE reports should include both objective information and any clinical observations.

Mental CE examinations might also include mental status examinations. A comprehensive mental status examination might include a description of the disability applicant’s appearance, behavior, mood and affect, speech, memory, thought content (i.e. delusions), perceptual abnormalities (i.e. hallucinations), insight and judgment, etc.

The applicant’s disabling medical condition determines the areas of mental status that need to be addressed during the examination. Still other mental consultative examinations might involve memory testing or neuropsychological assessments (especially for those who have organic brain disorder or have had a cerebral vascular accident or stroke).

Related: What can I expect from a Social Security Mental Examination or Evaluation?

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Related pages:

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
Do you have to report Social Security Disability income?

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

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.