Prepare for a Psychological Exam
If you just found out you need to go for a psychological evaluation for social security, it can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. With an increase of psychiatric disabilities and people unable to work as a result of these disabilities, it’s important to understand how these psychological evaluations work in the disability application process. The application process for SSI and SSDI is quite similar. The only difference is if you don’t have a lot of work history or work credits you will need to apply for SSI, a need-based program. If you have worked for many years, you may have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI, but the process is still the same. If social security doesn’t have enough medical history for you, they will send you to an evaluation with a professional.
A psychological evaluation, also known as a mental consultative test is with a professional examiner to better understand your condition. Social security will send you to one of these exams in the event there is not enough history in the claimant’s medical records. The exam is completed by an independent doctor that has no affiliation with the Social Security Administration to ensure there are no bias opinions in the exam. During the psychological exam, there are several texts the examiner will complete to include:
• Memory test
• Language skills
• Who the current president is
• Talk about your childhood
During the exam, the evaluator will watch you from the moment you pull into the parking lot. Once you get into the building, the examiner will take you into the room and note how you walk and act. If you allege you have a personality or mood disorder such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, the mental health examiner will discuss your symptoms and how you deal with them each day. If you allege other mental health issues such as panic attacks, anxiety, or depression, the examiner will talk about these symptoms, how you get out of the home, deal with family and the public. The doctor will also discuss your work history, medical history, medication history, establish identity to confirm who you are and typical daily activities.
You can prepare for the psychological evaluation by thinking and writing down some of your symptoms and how long they have lasted. Identifying what triggers your symptoms and what you do to decrease your symptoms. The night before the exam, have a good dinner and good night’s sleep as this will help you the following day.
At the completion of the exam, the doctor you saw will need to write a report to the social security examiner about their findings and opinions about your disability within ten days. This will allow the disability examiner the opportunity to make a decision on your case. Mental consultative exams usually have enough evidence and strongly considered by the medical examiner when deciding a case. If you do not attend the mental health exam, there is a possibility your claim could be denied.
If you need an exam, contact our office.