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Spouse or Partner Caregiver Forum
Do you know someone who had an SSA Consultative Exam?
Hi, I am new to this forum and so glad there is support out there, even if online.
I guess I am worried about a consultative exam not giving a good picture of how he is functioning. They don't take a history of what he can do, they just give tests. I know of his decline and it is clear to me for the past 2-3 years how he has changed. Does anyone have a LO that had an exam of cognitive/memory given by the SSA that remembers what they were asked? Thanks in advance.
Thanks for your reply. It helps a lot.
We just don't have a true "doctor", yet - my husband was into natural health and refused to see anyone but Naturopaths, and they don't diagnose like doctor's do. That was his "normal" life some time ago...so there was no doctor to do testing. He was also in heavy denial - thinking that he was going to beat dementia or Alzheimer's because he could just eat healthy and not "get what his father and brother got" - his father passed away from Alzheimer's and he swore he could have saved him "if only"; his brother has it and is about a little over a year older than him. So we are crossing that battle of getting him to agree to do SSA. Every week he does not even remember we applied and agreed to it, so I have to remind him and he was aggressive/angry weeks ago when he refused to go to today's appointment. So I wondered if in the exam today he could have told the doctor "I want to work, nothing is wrong with me".
So I wondered if in the exam today he could have told the doctor "I want to work, nothing is wrong with me".
Mitodai, here is an article about anosognosia that will explain more about it to you.
Meg7544, do you remember if your DH mentioned what his interview asked him?
There is a difference between a health care power of attorney that allows the POA to make health care decisions and and ordinary POA which can include the power to have access to any and all medical data and medical professionals. Many health care powers do not include the specific right to access to all records . This can cause lots of problems
The Maryland advance directive does have the appropriate language
I routinely insert it into standard DPOA
It was 13 years ago but this is what I remember. As background, DH has genetic EOAD. We were getting a run-a-round by SS. This was before EOAD was really known about by many of the SS offices and before EOAD was on the fast-track list. DH's application was denied. So we appealed and were scheduled to meet with an administrative law judge. In the interim, I called my state senator's office and spoke to an aide. The next thing I knew, we received a notice from SS that we had an appointment scheduled with a psychologist.
I was concerned how the meeting would go because DH’s limitations were not
easily discernable. He was in with the
psychologist for a long period of time.
When he was finished, I asked DH what they talked about. DH said they talked about his family history
with regards to the genetic mutation. He
said the doctor was interested in the historical details that caused his family
to immigrate to the U.S. in the late 1800’s.
He said they spent a lot of time talking about history. DH always loved history and had a great
memory for the who, what, when, where and how.
So I think what happened is the psychologist could tell that DH had a great
long-term memory but his short-term memory was lacking. I don’t remember
getting a write-up from the psychologist, but his SS application went through
right away and our court date was cancelled.
So it may be hit or miss, depending on the SSA case worker or decision makers. No real way to tell what they will decide even if I knew what the psych report has in it. I will certainly appeal if it gets denied. I always wonder what they could possibly think someone can do for work if they cannot do their old job. My husband cannot even fill in a job application much less know what date it is. What employer will hire him is beyond me how the SSA thinks. I know there are various 'handicapped' workers out there in the workforce, so maybe SSA thinks they can lump dementia under a handicap...who knows. I am tired now of guessing what the outcome will be. Can only sit tight...
We are getting our POA and AHDirectives completed from our state downloadable forms. Thanks for that advice.
I always wonder what they could possibly think someone can do for work if they cannot do their old job.
The Social Security Administration doesn't care whether someone can still do their old job. They only care whether the person is capable of "substantial gainful activity" (SGA). That means, are they capable of earning the modest sum of $1,170.00 per month? They look at how the person's disability affects their ability to work, their level of education, previous work history, etc. to decide if they can perform SGA. Let's say a person was once an electrical engineer. They may not be able to do that work anymore, but they might still be capable of cleaning toilets. Yes, it can be that ridiculous. If your husband is as impaired as you say, I wouldn't worry about him being approved.
When my hubby went through neuropsychological testing, I explained SGA to the doctor. She was shocked. She said, "What's he gonna do? Be a greeter at Wal-Mart?" The answer to that was "no". I had stopped him from driving shortly before we got his results. The caregiver is under no obligation to provide transportation to work for the person with a disability.
Our 25 year old son is also on disability due to his autism. He is intelligent, physically strong, and he can drive. But the mere thought of applying for work can send him into a panic. He has very poor socialization and communication skills.
I cannot imagine how they could think a caregiver would transport to the job and know their work schedule and fill out the job application and paperwork, etc. Those are the things I would need to do for DH because he cannot drive, nor take a bus, nor ride a bike, nor complete a job application or the numerous forms they have you fill out on hire day(W4, etc.), remember his work schedule, etc. None of these things. I wrote a lot in the third party functional report which I hope is weighed in to the decision.
It is funny that you mention "A greeter at Walmart" because when I picked up DH after his exam, he was chatting away with someone in the waiting area. He can sometimes be congenial enough to do only that - a greeter - but would he remember where he is after a few hours, or remember when to take his lunch break, or when his shift ends, or how to get home...
Also, next week's exam is the physical one and he cannot bend, lift, reach, has Parkinsonian shaking, etc. So cleaning toilets is not going to happen either, unless they plan to put him in a wheelchair to do the cleaning. They will test his walking, gait, and other physical things pertaining to performing job related things because of all the pain/movement symptoms we listed.
Oh thank you guys for your posts. I am feeling a little less stressed.
I cannot imagine how they could think a caregiver would transport to the job and know their work schedule and fill out the job application and paperwork, etc. Those are the things I would need to do for DH because he cannot drive, nor take a bus, nor ride a bike, nor complete a job application or the numerous forms they have you fill out on hire day(W4, etc.), remember his work schedule, etc. None of these things.
I believe that they do take into account whether your disability prevents you from even getting to this alleged job they say you can do. When hubby was approved, he could no longer drive. I don't think it would have been a stretch to prove that it was unsafe for him to walk the mile and a half to the nearest alleged job. We had no public transportation where we lived.
It's like if your disability is chronic migraines. Yes, you can work when you feel okay. But, half the time, you can't even get out of bed. No employer would even hire you. I think such a case could be won on appeal, at least.
When you're talking about a person with a diagnosis of dementia, their condition will only decline. That's why dementia is on the fast track list.
I just wanted to thank everyone for your feedback. This past Tuesday(28th) was DH's Physical exam. The doctor needed me to be in the room because DH could not remember anything to answer his questions. So as I was in the exam...it was so sad..DH has some parkinsonian/neuro issues going on along with his other memory/cog symptoms. He could not walk a straight line - like when you get pulled over for possible DUI and you have to put one foot in front of the other. He could not touch his hand to his nose and had noticeable tremors. Possible Parkinsonian dementia?
Anyway - I just called the case worker today to ask a simple question about getting the Tuesday Physical report sent somewhere and guess what - she said his case left her office and they decided on it because there was enough evidence in the psych exam. The case worker did not even need to wait for the physical report to come in. So if that means that the psych exam showed clear signs of decline(etc) then maybe DH is approved? SSA will be writing/calling soon, she said.
I think it sounds like a definite approval. A similar thing happened to me. Hubby had one neuropsychological exam which was paid for by his employer, but it took me about six months to get a hold of the thing! Very non-responsive doctor! While waiting, I scheduled him for a second exam. Months later, I called SSA to ask if they had gotten a copy the second report (I had sent them a copy of the first exam after they initially denied his application because they never got a copy from that doctor). I was told that they didn't need the second one, the first one had enough information. Hubby was soon approved. He got his first check six months after being forced to retire early on disability.
I don't think you have anything to worry about.