Monday, November 28, 2011

Don't try to fool the Psychologist who conducts a Social Security Exam

Here is a comment from a psychologist who conducts mental consultative exams for the social security administration (actually, the state agency that handles disability determinations for SSA, which in most states is known as DDS, or disability determination...which brings up the interesting question of why every state does not likewise refer to their state disability agency as DDS since this, I believe, is how federal law refers to these agencies).

Anyway, this psychologist was responding to a post of mine in which I cautioned claimants to give their full and best effort when they show up at consultative exams that are scheduled for the purpose of conducting intelligence testing, mental status checks, and memory scale testing. I can personally recall a situation in which an individual with diminished IQ--ironically enough--made three deliberate attempts to fool the psychologist by giving a poor effort on his testing. He was denied. The sad thing is that he would have been approved, most likely, if he had simply allowed the psychologist to accurately test him and obtain valid scores. The point is pretty clear. Don't try to manipulate the test results.

Here's that comment:

"Saying that the people who administer the mental exams are fairly expert at detecting malingering is an understatement.

In particular, if the person is a psychologist (as opposed to a psychiatrist), they have a very substantial amount of training and many tools and techniques that they routinely use to identify malingering. It is nearly impossible to defeat these if you are in fact malingering and you will wind up being denied benefits, and your file will be flagged as well.

I'm a psychologist that does these exams and you waste my time and yours if you do this."

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

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