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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?

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

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?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

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

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
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?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria