Being physically injured or disabled in a situation that no one wants to go through. It’s a long, painful journey. However, when you are physically injured, at least it’s a condition that people can see and acknowledge. The same, unfortunately, can not always be said for those with mental illnesses or disabilities. For this reason, trying to Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be much more difficult. Because mental illnesses can often come and go at whim, and because many out there don’t always consider mental illness to be a “real” condition — instead, thinking that whoever is suffering just needs to “get over” it — it can be much harder to prove the existence of a mental condition that would require disability.
Thankfully, the SSA recognizes this problem, and has put procedures in place to identify and help those suffering from a mental condition. To do this, though, it is necessary for an applicant to undergo a mental exam. But, what form does that take? Well, depending on the condition, there are different types of social security mental exam questions one might have to face.
How Does the Mental Exam Work?
The good news is that the SSA takes the mental exam very seriously. Unlike the physical exam the SSA conducts, which is rather sparse, the mental exam is very thorough. Depending on what type of mental condition you are claiming, you will be required to take one of three different types of exams.
1. Decline or Lack of Proper Mental Function
The first type of mental exam is for applicants who might have experienced a loss of mental functioning due to stroke, illness or accident, or those applicants who have a condition — such as a learning disability or dyslexia — that results in loss of function. In either case, the applicant is usually sent to a psychologist who will test the patient’s mental capacity through intelligence tests and other means.
2. Personality or Mood Disorders
If you suffer from disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, you will be sent to a psychiatrist for a complete psychological evaluation. This will be used to determine your overall mental health and capacity, as well as your ability to function without being a danger to yourself or others.
3. Situational Problems or Disorders
For those with situational problems such as depression or anxiety, you will also be sent for a mental status examination.
In all cases, the questions used on these mental exams will help to determine whether you are qualified for SSDI or SSI benefits based on your mental health. If this sounds like a confusing or daunting prospect, or you feel you need more help to prepare for such an ordeal, we would love to help you as you go through this. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today!