Psychological Injury and Law

, Volume 4, Issue 3–4, pp 235–244 | Cite as

The Psychological Consultative Examination for Social Security Disability

  • Michael D. ChafetzEmail author


The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides for federal disability insurance for disabled workers and their families through the Social Security Disability Insurance program and the social safety net for low-income disabled individuals through the Supplemental Security Income program. For the Mental Disorders (12.0) listings in the SSA Blue Book, psychologists provide consultative examinations, a form of medicolegal consultation (Chafetz; The Clinical Neuropsychologist 24:1,045–1,063, 2010). Psychologists also provide consultation directly to the Administrative Law Judges for cases going on appeal, or they might work directly for a Disability Determinations Services facility as an examiner for cases with mental disorders. This article describes the role of the psychologist in the Psychological Consultative Examination and its medicolegal context. Problems with non-credible behavior, particularly malingering, must be accounted for by the psychologist, which ultimately can help SSA with the validity of its decisions.


Social security Disability Malingering Monetary impact Psychologists 



Many thanks to the editors of this journal for inviting this article based upon an address delivered to the American Psychological Association, 2011, in Washington, DC, invited by Division 40. I am grateful to Dr. Glenn Larrabee for being an early advocate of this work, to Dr. Paul Green for promoting discussions of these topics on his list, and to Dr. Julie Nelson for championing this work more recently. Moreover, I am grateful to the leadership in our professional organizations—AACN, NAN, and Division 40—for advocacy efforts concerning these issues. I would like to thank the many students who have provided me with much help and insight over the years: Jesse Lambert, Eileen Bibbins, Aparna Rao, Erika Prentkowski, Christina Binder, and Alex Biondolillo. I would especially like to thank Alex Biondolillo for a critical reading. This paper is dedicated to the Psychological Consultants working within and for DDSs all over the country. Several of these psychologists have contacted and advised this author about many aspects of this research, but specifically asked not to be named so as to avoid reprisal. They have given me much of their valuable time and many insights.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New OrleansUSA

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