Clinical & Forensic Neuropsychological Services (CFNS) specializes in clinical and forensic neuropsychological evaluations in Mississippi and surrounding states. Dr. Gordon, a licensed psychologist in Mississippi, and board-certified clinical neuropsychologist performs workers’ compensation and other disability-related evaluations.
CFNS accepts clinical and forensic referrals for psychological and neuropsychological testing.
What is a Psychological Evaluation for Disability?
Workers who are injured on the job and cannot work may be eligible to collect compensation for lost wages and medical expenses related to the injury. In physical injury cases, an x-ray may be used to determine whether a broken bone has healed or not. However, when there is a mental injury or condition that developed due to a work incident, the workers’ compensation system may have more difficulty determining if an individual remains affected or is fully healed from the injuries. In those cases, you may be referred to a psychologist for an evaluation.
During a psychological evaluation, a psychologist will conduct an interview and assessment to determine whether a mental injury has occurred due to the work incident. They also may help determine if and when you should return to work, if accommodations are needed to address any injuries and recovery process, or if you should be considered ineligible to return to that position or alternative work.
What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation for Disability?
Neuropsychologists use objective, evidence-based techniques to conduct evaluations for workers’ compensation claims that help the system determine which of your abilities have changed and to what extent. A careful and thorough analysis of your test results will allow the neuropsychologist to reach a determination as to whether you can return to work, immediately or in the future, or how much time you might need to heal and regain your previous level of functioning.
For many people who have suffered a brain injury, there is an improvement in cognitive functions over time. However, not every brain-injured person will return to their previous baseline, no matter how much time passes. A neuropsychological evaluation is often used to help identify and clarify that that situation as well.
What to Expect at a Psychologist Evaluation for Workers’ Compensation
A psychological evaluation typically looks like a regular evaluation session where you talk with the psychologist about your concerns. During the session, you will be asked specific information about your vocational history, skills, ability, and work-related incidents. You also may be asked to complete testing that allows the psychologist to better evaluate your mental status.
The content of the session and evaluation varies depending on the specific case but often includes:
- Your mental health history
- Your present mental status
- Details of the situation or event that led to psychological or mental distress
- Details about your employment, how it may impact your mental status, and levels of pressure or stress you experience there
- Personality details, including how you deal with stress and how you interact with other people
Depending on the specifics of your situation, there may be more areas covered, and you may be asked to complete more testing. The evaluation usually ends with the psychologist giving a primary diagnosis, offering opinions about work abilities, and maybe suggestions for treatment that may facilitate a return to work or improvement in an identified condition.
What Should I Expect at a Neuropsychologist Evaluation for Workers’ Compensation?
If you suffer a possible brain injury at work, you might be referred for a neuropsychological evaluation. Typically, this type of evaluation consists of three parts: a medical records review, interviews, and paper and pencil or computerized tests. The neuropsychologist will gather medical information related to your work incident, may request interviews with your family members, supervisor, and coworkers, and may need to see a copy of your job description and most recent job evaluation. When you meet with the neuropsychologist, you will be interviewed, much like in the psychological evaluation.
However, during this type of assessment, the neuropsychologist will also use a series of tests tailored to your situation to measure multiple areas, including memory, language, executive functions (planning and organizing), attention, visual and special abilities, coordination, motor skills, mood, and personality. The tests allow the neuropsychologist to determine your strengths and weaknesses within each area as well as any pattern of deficits in these areas to identify any abnormal conditions.
Based on the neuropsychologist’s evaluation, a report will be prepared that summarizes your medical history, lists areas in which emotional and cognitive function has been altered, and makes a recommendation about your return to work or other alternatives.