Mental testing for a disability claim in Illinois

What kind of mental testing does social security send claimants to? There is a range of testing for mental consultative exams, including a full psychiatric exam and a psychological exam which is essentially an IQ test. Very often, however, (and this is based on my own experience as an examiner in one state agency--practices may be different in other state agencies and, in fact, practices sometimes vary between individual units of a single state agency) a claimant who has listed depression on a claim but does not seem to have a developed history of treatment for depression will be sent to an abbreviated form of exam, known as a mental status exam.

A mental status exam is designed to gauge exactly what the term implies, the mental status of the claimant. Accordingly, the report that is generated from such an exam (and sent to the disability examiner working on the case) will include data regarding presentation and appearance, observable motor coordination and gait, eye contact, speech (was it pressured?, did it occur at a normal rate and volume?), memory and recall, concentration and attention, orientation as to time and place, alertness, judgement, and ability to abstract (such as the ability to interpret a proverb).


1. What can I expect from a Social Security Mental Examination or Evaluation?
2. Social Security Disability Mental Exam Questions
3. What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
4. Social Security Disability and SSI Process for Mental Claims
5. Social Security Disability and SSI Mental Claims and Criteria

Can you be approved for disability in Illinois on the basis of a mental status exam? Based on my experience as an examiner, I would conclude that the odds of this happening are slim to none. However, that does not mean that a claimant who is sent to a mental status exam cannot be approved. Sometimes, psychological testing is scheduled simply to obtain recent medical evidence and in many cases the existing medical evidence is sufficient to warrant an award of benefits. However, it is also true that the mere fact that a mental status exam has been ordered often indicates that the claimant's mental treatment records are either out of date, or lacking altogether.

For this reason, individuals who file for disability on the basis of depression, or, really, any mental impairment, should (for the sake of a disability application) strive to maintain a record of continuous and ongoing treatment. They should also stay compliant with their prescribed medications as a failure to do so may contribute to the basis for a denial.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

Most popular topics on

Social Security Disability in North Carolina

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI

Advice to Win SSD and SSI Benefit Claims

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

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?

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

Filing for disability in Illinois

Applying for disability in Illinois

How do you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois

Filing for disability in Illinois, when to file

After you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois

Are you automatically denied for SSDI or SSI in Illinois when you first apply?

Filing Illinois request for reconsideration after denied

Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Illinois?

Options after Social Security Disability is Denied in Illinois

Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Illinois

Do you need a lawyer for a Disability Claim in Illinois?

Disability attorneys, lawyers in Illinois

Choosing a Disability Attorney in Illinois

What will an Illinois disability attorney do?

Will hiring a disability attorney in Illinois get me a disability award?

Social Security Disability Representatives and help in Illinois

Social Security Claims and Disability Lawyers in Illinois

Illinois disability appeals

Filing a disability appeal in Illinois

Which disability appeal to file in Illinois

How many disability appeals do you get in Illinois?

Getting a Disability Appeal on time in Illinois

Eligibility, approvals, and qualifications in Illinois

How to Qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois

Can a Specific Medical Problem get you Approved for Disability in Illinois?

Eligibility and Qualifications for Disability in Illinois

Can you get disability approved in Illinois at the reconsideration level?

Miscellaneous questions about SSD SSI in Illinois

Can you get disability in Illinois on your first try?

How many Social Security Disability and SSI cases get denied in Illinois?

Disability denial in Illinois, when to get a lawyer

Social Security Disability Waiting period in Illinois

Will I lose my SSDI SSI disability benefits in Illinois when my case is reviewed?

Illinois disability hearings

How to Prepare for a Disability Hearing in Illinois

Odds of disability approval in Illinois better at a hearing vs reconsideration

Illinois disability attorney representation after being denied

Illinois mental disability

Approved for disability in Illinois with a mental condition

Mental testing for an SSDI or SSI disability claim in Illinois

Filing for Disability with depression in Illinois

Illinois disability decisions

Who makes the SSD or SSI decision in Illinois

How long does it take to get a disability decision in Illinois?

What is the Social Security Disability decision making process in Illinois?

Illinois disability, working and work credits

Work credits in Illinois to be covered for Social Security Disability

How to get your disability status in Illinois

If you get and receive disability benefits in Illinois, can you work?

Can you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois if you are working?

Illinois disability denials

Why is Social Security Disability and SSI Denied in Illinois?

Denied on a Disability Reconsideration in Illinois

Illinois Disability Claim was Denied, Should I Reapply?

Denied the second time for Social Security Disability in Illinois