How to Prepare for Social Security Mental Disability Exam Questions

by | Aug 22, 2023 | SSD Approval Process, SSD Benefits

Answering the social security mental disability exam questions correctly is vital for a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim. If the Social Security Administration (SSA) requests a mental Consultative Examination (CE), it is crucial to be prepared. Here are questions that might be asked at the mental disability exam and some tips on preparing for it.

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Preparing For The Social Security Disability Mental Examination

The mental examination purpose is to obtain more information, not in your medical records and typically takes 45 minutes to an hour.

The doctor will gather more information about you so that the SSA can make a more accurate assessment of your disability. The doctor might ask questions like:

  • What impairments do you have, and how do they affect you?
  • How has their life changed since the onset of their mental illness?
  • What’s your ability to interact with others and your relationship with your family, friends, and the community?
  • What social activities are you currently involved in?
  • Have you attempted to return to work, and what were the results of those attempts?

Although this is information you know, it is helpful to think about them before the CE to ensure you remember everything and illustrate your disability. We highly recommended that you go to your disability exam prepared. Click here to find out more about what you should never say to a doctor during a CE.

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6 Useful Tips For Your Mental Examination

1. Answer The Question

Pay attention to what is specifically asked and answer only that question in a sentence or two. If you didn’t understand the question, ask that the question be restated or explained to you.

2. Be Honest And Don’t Exaggerate

The most important way to answer any doctor’s questions is with honesty. If the doctor thinks you are exaggerating your symptoms, you could lose credibility, and if he or she doesn’t believe you, you could lose your claim.

3. Try Not To Ramble Or Go Off Subject

Do not answer the questions with lengthy explanations that stray from the original question. If you find yourself wandering from the topic, pause and take a moment to refocus and answer the question.

4. Be Specific About Your Symptoms And Limitations

For example, someone who suffers from anxiety will describe the pain, using descriptive words like exaggerated startle response, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbance.
This will help paint a picture of your disability and how it affects you. It will also help discuss your symptoms as they exist on your worst days, not your best days. Your best days are not what’s keeping you from working, so focus your descriptions on your bad days.

5. Paint A Picture Of Your Daily Living

Described how your mental disability affects your daily activities and whether you need help in your day-to-day life. For example, if you require assistance from a family member or friend to cook, complete house chores, shop for groceries, and paying bills. Be descriptive on the assistance you receive, how often you receive it, and why you need it. This is important because it gives insight into how you would probably function in a work setting and indicate that you would have difficulty performing many types of jobs.

6. Don’t Be Embarrassed

Frequently, disability claimants feel embarrassed by the symptoms of their mental illness. However, it is important to remember that these doctors talk to hundreds of claimants a year with every imaginable disability. Try to set aside any embarrassment so that you can provide the doctor with accurate answers so that he or she can evaluate your claim fairly.

Find out what happens after the mental exam and whether you will be approved to receive disability benefits.

Contact Disability Apply

Social Security mental disability questions can very often be challenging. It is not uncommon for applicants to encounter doctors who can make their patients feel uncomfortable. Protect yourself by having a disability attorney on your side. We have helped numerous applicants succeed in every step of their disability claim, from initial applications, appeals, to hearings. We can assist you with the social security mental disability exam questions and all other examinations. Contact us today, for a a free claim evaluation.

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    4. Have you seen a doctor within the last 12 months?

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