Psychiatric Consultative Exams for SSI/SSDI

Wondering if anyone has a loved one who has experienced the CE process during the tedious and fruitless (at least so far, this is our second attempt to get benefits for our adult daughter with SA) process that is the application for disability. She couldn’t attend the first CE appointment during the first round of this attempt, which was almost 2 years ago, as she was is in psychosis, and a result was denied. She is stable currently, meds are working generally, so if all remains the same, will be attending this one on Tuesday. Thanks in advance for any feedback…

Took my son second application to be approved.

We are in our second attempt as well. There was never a CE during the first attempt. They tried to get info from counselor and psychitriast, but as he was switching both of those during the initial application they may not have recieved any feedback from his former providers. SSI said he wasn’t sick enough, which is just laughable, he had to stop working because he would just go through this cycle of doing well being stable, start working alot, horrible insomnia, forget his meds, psychosis, hospitalization, lose job, rinse, repeat. Since applying he is only working a few hours a week, mostly because he’s very depressed if he doesn’t have something specific to look forward to. I guess in SSI eyes that means he’s not sick enough. So frustrating.
We hired an attorney, they filed the appeal for him. They take 25% of his first back payment but no more than $7k. I had heard others had paid more so I told my son I though that was very fair. He’s somewhat lucky as the part time job he has now his manager used to be on SSI/SSDI, she used an attorney (turned out we picked the same one) she said it took her two years to be approved. Intersting part was that she decided after 10 years she felt she could work more and stopped getting the benefits, but was told she could go right back on them if she needed. And it’s cool that she understands he can’t work much.
Sorry I can’t give more specific feedback on your question.


Thanks to you both for responding. The overwhelming frustration caused by the request to SSI just compounds the helplessness that we deal with daily with our loved ones, I find. My daughter’s first application was denied after 4, FOUR years, taken up to the level of a hearing before a judge. We are on year 2 of our second try, having used the same attorney both times, which at times has seemed pointless. They never contact us, I have to check in with them, ask for advice or to confirm what I find on internet searches. So, to update, the CE, which my daughter (and myself) had been stressing over for weeks, was Tuesday. The psychiatrist spoke with her, at the most, 15 minutes, and asked her basic questions that were common knowledge if she had actually looked at her chart. She didn’t look at her meds (which SSI says to bring), nor look at her treating physician’s statement that had been suggested she bring. My daughter had the feeling that this was just a formality. Psychiatrist advised her “to appeal right away if she is denied”. Doesn’t bode well, does it?

At our Family to Family graduation, the grand Poobah of the local NAMI came out and gave a talk. Afterwards, he mingled for a long time with the class members. He had some good street creds - not just his elected position- he had also been a part of a group of parents that built some sort of small apartment complex with government grant money. Long waiting list to move in, only those med cooperative (as usual) were welcome. But, that aside, he said that disability applications for our family members who were viewed as dangerous are not denied. I have wondered if that is why my son’s application was granted on the first attempt. Mike’s landlord had written that Mike had shown a gun to another tenant and Mike’s hospital employer who fired him, also felt Mike presented a danger.

My siblings and I are engaged in a similar struggle just trying to get my brother’s jailers to conduct a psych eval. The danger to self and others threshold falls flat if the subject has too many narcissistic tendencies to be suicidal and is apparently in isolation, so there’s not much chance of harm to others. We took away his access to guns long ago, and now he mostly engages in verbal threats escalating occasionally to physical attacks. And that’s what landed him in jail in the first place.

I’ll leave it at that and start another thread later, but I feel for caregivers caught in similar Catch-22’s.


That’s very interesting. My daughter has been violent when in psychosis, and has threatened to kill me. I haven’t told anyone that until now, other my husband and in an email to her psychiatrist after it occurred. I wasn’t threatened physically as she was harming herself when she said it. Ugh. I am having a sick, physical reaction just in recalling this. This occurred after we received the 3rd Party Function Report form, so SSI is not aware of it. I’m guessing the gravity certainly doesn’t match the gravity of having/showing a gun to someone. I am glad that your son did get benefits on the first attempt. And yes, Maggotbrane, that certainly is a Catch 22, very unfortunate.


My son was officially diagnosed (by a psychiatrist) with schizophrenia in Oct 2021 just before his 22nd birthday (he was 21 at the time of diagnosis). He has seen a psychiatrist every 3 months from late 2021 until now (2024). I have to administer meds to my son 2x/day and he is mostly compliant. He has a drivers license but cannot handle driving without me being in the car with him. He lives with me and I provide all his care. He will most likely live with me for the rest of my life. He is not violent. My heart goes out to you all who are caring for aggressive family. You are heroes.

My son and I attended his CE appt in Feb 2024. We were asked to go to a local psychiatrist who works with SSI/SSDI cases. The appt lasted about 2 hours. My son cannot work. The last job he held was in late 2022 at Walmart as a night stocker. He was fired after 3 months. It was very tough for him because his medication makes him sleep for 12 hours. So his life was basically go to work 10pm-7am, come home and go to sleep, and wakeup at 9pm for work. It was not much of a life for him, sadly.

I explained that he has disordered thinking and actively hears voices, even while taking several prescriptions. They began by asking him questions which he struggled to answer. Then they turned to me for most answers. I got the sense that this was normal for them. Many of the questions centered around self-care, driving, and his symptoms. You know, the kind of stuff that a person needs to do in daily life activities. For example, he can heat up a frozen meal and cook eggs, but struggles and is unable to prepare a meal. He leaves the oven on every time and has left the gas stove burner unignited which filled our home with gas.

They were very understanding of his condition and kept the evaluation very low-stress. The first 90 mins was performed by a nurse/assistant who asked basic questions. The last 30mins was performed by a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist said yes, he clearly has schizophrenia “for all the good it’ll do.” The doctor said my son would be denied since it’s the first time.

My son had been actively seeing a psychiatrist since the end of 2021. I filled out his application for SSI/SSDI myself without the help of a disability attorney.

  • I made a list of every doctor appt he attended since 2021 and the subject of each appt.
  • I also printed out the summary for each appt.
  • I printed out the official psychiatrist evaluation of him being diagnosed.
  • We switched psychiatrists in late 2023 and I printed out that evaluation, too.
  • I submitted a record of his medication, dosages, and how his meds were adjusted since 2021.

All together, I submitted a little over 200 pages of medical documentation in his SSI/SSDI application. It took about a year and a half, but he was declared disabled by the government in late 2021 and his SSDI application was approved in March 2024. He was also approved for Medicare which is HUGE because he is aging out of being on my health insurance. He was given SSDI backpay which I transferred out of his checking/savings account. I have used some of the backpay to pay for a large dental bridge and a dental implant. My son was born with a cleft lip/palate (he cannot catch a break in life).

His SSI application was denied because he had over $2000 in his checking/savings account (he had $2600). So I messed up on that part, ugh. To fix it, I wrote up a lease for room and board, and he signed it. I then transferred money out of his account to pay his monthly room/board. I think the idea with SSI is to document/show his monthly bills so that he can get the maximum SSI amount which is currently $943 in our state. I am waiting to hear back on his SSI appeal which will probably take 6 months.

This whole thing has been a long, confusing, difficult process - as many others have mentioned.

I hope this information helps.

Galaga…you are really on top of it, I’m so impressed. I do hope you get the full amount allowed. I’ve received very little advice from our attorney, but one mention was that you should be “charging” room and board-very important factor towards that end. Thanks for sharing your story.

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