Mental health Status Exam

Mental Health Status Exam

If you are filing for Social Security disability (SSD) or SSI benefits based on a condition that involves depression, you should take every step possible to back up your claim with solid medical evidence. This is true whether you are listing depression as a primary disabling factor or as a secondary symptom of a broader ailment (for example, chronic fatigue syndrome or chronic back pain).

Insufficient Medical Records

Many individuals who list depression on a disability application have not recently been treated for their condition, and some have no record of ever receiving treatment. Without recent medical records from a qualified mental health provider (a psychiatrist or psychologist) to confirm an ongoing state of clinical depression, the disability claims examiner or administrative law judge (ALJ) attempting to evaluate your claim will have no choice but to order a consultative exam (CE) to determine your current mental state.

Consultative Exam for Depression

In most cases of depression, Social Security will pay for and send you to a mental CE with a psychologist or psychiatrist who will provide a current, full psychiatric and psychological profile of the claimant. However, if you have listed depression on your disability application but you have no prior history of treatment for your condition, you will likely be sent to a mental status exam, which is generally not as in depth as a full psychological profile. The mental status exam will simply supply the claims examiner or judge with an overview of your current mental state, including observations about demeanor, speech, memory, alertness, ability to concentrate, and ability to adequately interpret simple concepts.

It is rare that a mental status exam will provide a claimant with enough medical evidence to qualify for disability benefits. Yet, as with all consultative exams scheduled by Social Security, you have no choice but to participate. Without recent medical evidence your case cannot move forward, and refusing a CE can in itself be grounds for dismissal of your claim.

However, a mental CE can be helpful to your case if you have a documented history of treatment for depression and your consultative exam confirms what your medical records already indicate.

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Q&A

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How do I schedule a mental status evaluation? | Yahoo Answers

John ... start by seeing your regular physician. They will give you a full blood workup checking for things like blood sugar disorders and glandular problems. If they don't find anything, then see a psychiatrist for diagnosis and treatment. There are very good medicines today to treat most mental disorders and well as therapy once the medication(s) take effect. Take care of yourself by eating healthy, doing cardio exercise and getting quality sleep, which are also needed for positive brain chemistry. Chip

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