Disability Evaluation
Disability Evaluation

Disability Evaluation

[intense_content_box icon=”arrow-right” size=”2″ position=”topleft” animation=”bounce” border_radius=”20px”]Those who file for Short Term Disability or Social Security Disability with an alleged mental condition (physical and mental impairments listed on disability applications are classified as “allegations” until the examiner has decided the claim) are often sent for a mental consultative examination (CE).[/intense_content_box]

Mental consults are like physical consultative exams in that they are used by disability examiners to help establish the claimant’s current medical state. Oftentimes, it is the case that those with mental disorders have received little if any medical treatment for their condition, so it’s difficult for a disability examiner to determine the nature and scope of the impairment and how it affects the claimant’s ability to work.

Before a disability examiner can make a decision on a claim, he has to have recent medical evidence; Social Security has defined “recent” as within the past three months. However, even if you have had medical treatment for a mental condition within this time frame, the examiner can order a mental exam for further clarification.

The scope of a mental consultation is narrow, and does not include the evaluation of any physical symptoms, such as pain, inability to lift, bend, drive, etc. Instead, the mental consult is used to determine such things as memory function (the memory scale exam), impaired cognitive function (IQ tests, concentration tasks, etc.), and social skills (ability to function in a social or work environment).

Psychological exams are usually performed by psychologists with independent practices who do not work for the Social Security Administration. Mental exams, like physical consultative exams, are usually brief, and their findings alone will not determine the approval or disapproval of a claim.

However, they can be very influential to the disability examiner deciding the case, and for this reason it is important that those who are scheduled for a mental exam make every effort to attend, or to notify the Social Security office as soon as they become aware of a schedule conflict.

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More About ...... Dr. Banafsheh Pezeshk, Psy.D. , QME

Dr. Banafsheh Pezeshk is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Med-Legal Psychology Evaluator specializing in disability evaluations, medical evaluations, Fit For Duty evaluations, treating traumas, addiction, mood disorders, and other mental health conditions and concerns.

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Define your goals. Think about what you would like to get out of counseling. It might be helpful to write a list of events, relationship issues, or feelings that you think are contributing to your distress

Be an active participant. This is your counseling experience, so be as active as you can in deciding how to use the time. Be honest with the counselor and give her or him feedback about how you see the sessions progressing.

Be patient with yourself. Growth takes time, effort, and patience. All of your coping skills, behavior patterns, and self-perceptions have been learned and reinforced over a long period of time, so change can be difficult and slow at times.

Follow your counselor's recommendations. Take the time between sessions to complete any activities suggested by your counselor. Counseling is intended to improve your life in the "real world," so making efforts to try out and practice new behaviors, approaches, or ways of thinking could be a crucial element to the success of your counseling experience..
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