Tips For Handling Your Disability Claim Psychological Consultation

When you're applying for Social Security Disability, your case manager may request that you attend a consultative exam with a psychologist. If so, you may be wondering what to expect from the process. Here are a few tips to help you understand the process and protect your interests.

Keeping Your Own Records

In the week leading up to your appointment, take time to write down the symptoms, struggles, and problems that you experience. Make a list of all of the things that you want to make a point to tell the psychologist, and bring that list with you to the appointment. That helps you to keep your thoughts organized while you're in the appointment.

You'll also want to make a point to take notes for yourself throughout the appointment. It's important for you to have as much information as possible about what transpired so that you are equipped for an appeal if one should be necessary.

Make a note of what time your evaluation begins and what time it ends. This will be important in the event that you are denied because your attorney can argue that a short evaluation didn't permit sufficient time for the psychologist to form a comprehensive determination.

Keep notes about the questions you answer and what you say because those answers are a key component of the decision. Remember to always be respectful, straightforward, and as detailed as possible in your answers.

Discuss Your Work History

The psychologist will ask you about your work history and how your personal interactions were at each job that you worked. Think about everything at work that you had trouble with. For example, did you struggle with interaction with co-workers? Were you overly anxious and nervous about dealing with people or working alongside the boss? How did your physical limitations affect your mood and your personality on the job?

You should also discuss any work that you missed, providing as many specifics as possible about it. Were you anxiety-ridden and unable to make it to work? Were you too cloudy and unfocused to do the things necessary to get there? If you were ever fired for your attendance troubles, attitude or other issues, be honest about it. The psychologist needs to know how your condition affects your ability to hold a job.

Consider Your Daily Tasks

How does your condition affect your daily functioning? Think about how well you focus both at home and when you're out running errands. Do you struggle with getting projects started or completing them once you have begun? Do you need to constantly be reminded to do routine things like taking out trash or taking your medications? Do you go into the store with a list of things to buy and discover that you've forgotten things on the list after you leave?

Discuss your personal relationships as well. The psychologist will want to know how you interact with family members, friends, and neighbors. Do you find yourself saying things that are inappropriate without meaning to or getting angry with people seemingly on a whim? These are many of the things that can cause difficulties for your daily life and make it hard for you to get or keep a job.

Describe The Cognitive Effects Of Your Physical Condition

Although the psychologist needs to make a determination that is separate from your physical condition, you'll want to share some information about your physical limitations as well. For example, if you struggle with chronic pain that is overwhelmingly distracting, such as severe back pain, it can make it hard for you to focus, initiate activities and deal with other people. Share this information with the psychologist so that he or she can understand how your condition influences the problems you're having.

For more information, contact Erickson Social Security Law or a similar firm.