, , , , ,

– Deborah C. Tyler

I’ve looked at SSI Disability from both sides now, from in and out, and still somehow it’s the scammers, the duped, and the resentful I recall.


I have been involved in hundreds of SSI Disability cases.  I have worked in the system providing mental status exams, called consultative examinations, in two states.  I have done dozens of private psychological evaluations for people trying to get on Disability rolls.  I have sent reams of case notes and reports to the Disability bureaucracy on behalf of therapy clients.


There have been memorable examinations.  One was of a sassy prostitute.  She said she worked for an “escort service,” but it seemed important to her that I know the full range of her proficiencies.  Her claim for SSI was based on major depression, but she seemed in high spirits to me — or, as we say, “affect contraindicated mood disorder at this time.”  I think she was just getting a little long in the tooth for “claimant’s customary employment.”


I have interviewed foul-mouthed teenagers whose mommas thought they could shake a few dollars out of the system on the basis of “oppositional-defiant disorder.”  One 17-year-old was memorable because she came with a baby on her hip.  Without the sophistication or coaching to understand what kind of money she was trying to get, she told me with more than a hint of hostility how smart, empowered, and free she was to do “whatever the f-” she wanted.  I asked her, “Do you know what the word ‘disability’ means?” Read more of the article here.