Social Security Explores “Symptom Validity Tests”

There are many controversial psychological based tests, utilized allegedly to determine whether an individual seeking Social Security or other government benefits is presenting a valid medical claim. Put another way, these psychological tests, including the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory or the Test of Memory Malingering, are designed to spot malingering or outright fraud.

Initially, the Social Security Administration frowned on these tests as being a waste of money and time. More recently, there appears to have been a reversal of that policy. The Inspector General for the Social Security Administration has issued a report that generally supports the use of Symptom Validity Tests in determining eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits. The Inspector General cited that the Veteran’s Administration and the Railroad Retirement Board utilize this type of testing.

Interestingly, the Social Security Administration has not jumped on board with the recommendations of the Inspector General and issued what might be viewed as a rebuttal. SSA implied that the organizations supporting the use of Symptom Validity Tests, also use them professionally and therefore have an economic interest in their usage. These organizations include the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology and the National Academy of Neuropsychology. SSA also differed with the substantive findings of the Inspector General, noting that “…the tests cannot prove malingering, as there are no tests that conclusively determine the presence of inaccurate self-reporting.”

According to Ft.Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach Social Security Disability Attorney Randy Zeldin, Esq., this “noise” about malingering and fraud, is just another segment of the vicious political attack being waged against Social Security Disability recipients and applicants.

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