Why does Social Security want me to get a mental exam?

Do not be alarmed if the SSA is asking you for a mental consultativeexam. The SSA requires exams if they want more information about something not addressed in your records, or if they want a second opinion. Mental exams are paid for by the administration and can strengthen or weaken your case. Because mental exams are paid for by the Social Security Administration, they are usually not favorable.

Why do I need a mental exam?

There are a few reasons why you might be asked to receive a mental exam:

  • You stated in your disability paperwork that you suffer from depression, insomnia, memory loss, bipolar disorder etc., but have not received treatment, or have not received treatment within the last 90 days.
  • If you alleged suffering from physical pain, that was not found during the physical exam.
  • If the SSA found portions of your mental history in your records that were not included in your paperwork.
  • If a third-party tells SSA that you deal with mental impairments that were not listed on your paperwork.

What to expect at a mental exam?

Mental consultative exams are a one-time visit with a psychologist/psychiatrist. Generally, examiners will use one of three tests depending on the conditions you listed in your disability profile:

  • Psychological: This is for individuals with learning disabilities, a decline in mental stability, or mental retardation. IQ or memory testing may be done to see how much processing capacity you still have.
  • Psychiatric: If you have alleged diagnosis of schizophrenia, personality and mood disorders, and bipolar disorder you will be sent out for psychiatric evaluation.
  • Mental Status: If you have indicated situational problems with depression, anxiety, or panic attacks, you will be sent for a status check on how severe things are.

After the mental exam.

The examiner will write a report and submit it to the SSA. The report will contain a diagnosis and opinions about your ability to understand and remember tasks. The report will also contain opinions about how well you will work with others, fulfill tasks, stay on task, and your ability to handle the stresses of the work place.

Dealing with the SSA can be a confusing experience. At Summit Disability, we will prepare you for the mental exam by working with your doctors and keeping your medical records up to date.