If you’ve applied for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits or are currently receiving them, then you may have been asked to undergo a psychological evaluation to determine if you qualify or should continue receiving benefits.
While you may have heard the terminology “psych eval” used before, you may not know what that process entails. You may find it helpful to know before you attend your scheduled session.
Psych evaluations are mental health assessments. They can be administered by psychiatrists, psychologists or mental health counselors. These mental health professionals use psych evaluations to hone in on whether you suffer from a mental health condition.
What are the components of a psych evaluation?
There are various things that a therapist will have you do as part of your psych evaluation. You may have to verbally answer questions, complete written questionnaires and submit to a physical examination.
You can expect the mental health professional to utilize a variety of assessment tools to diagnose the nature and extent of any mental incapacity you may have. They may perform personality assessments as well.
Evaluations may last from 20 to 90 minutes, depending on how complex a person’s presenting concerns appear to be.
How might a psych evaluation affect your ability to qualify for or retain SSD benefits?
Reviewers will want to see your medical records when evaluating your file. They may request a psych evaluation as a way to confirm the extent of your impairment, though. A reviewer will weigh the combination of a review of your medical records, a psych evaluation and the performance of lab tests and a physical exam in determining your eligibility for disability benefits. An attorney can explain more about the process and the weight a psych evaluation may carry in it.