If you file a workers’ compensation claim and have a psychological injury you need to be compensated, then you will likely go through a psychological evaluation.
This is like a test done in order to see the extent of the psychological issues you are facing. The insurance company will ask for this test as a way to assess whether to deny or approve any treatment you need.
What the Psychological Test Entails
The psychological evaluation will be done by a mental health practitioner. It usually resembles a regular therapy session where you sit down with a therapist or psychologist and have a conversation with them. During this session, you may also be asked to take a test that will help the psychologist get a better understanding of your mental state.
As for what areas the evaluation covers, this greatly depends on your case, but can often include:
- Your mental health history, and family history
- Details of the event that lead to emotional or mental distress
- Present mental state
- Details about your personality (such as how you interact with other people, how you handle stress, etc.)
- Details about your job, and how it may affect your mental state, such as high stress or pressure.
This evaluation will end with an initial diagnosis, as well as potential treatment recommendations from the mental health professional who evaluates you. Now, you need to know that although the insurance company is the one that asked for this evaluation, they are in no way privy to what you discuss with your evaluator.
Because they are a licensed mental health professional, the conversation you have with them is protected, and cannot be divulged to any party unless the evaluator assesses you are at risk of injuring yourself or others or admit to committing a crime (in which case they contact the police, not the insurance company).
Does It Affect Your Claim?
It can. For example, the evaluator may conclude that your mental health issue isn’t caused by a traumatic event at work, or indeed the job’s environment. In this case, the insurance company essentially has everything they need to deny your claim for compensating any mental health treatment.
If you also have a physical injury, that compensation is unaffected by the results of your psychological evaluation. But if you don’t (Missouri doesn’t require physical injuries to make a work mental health compensation claim), then your entire claim can be denied.
What Should You Do?
Contact a St. Louis worker’s compensation lawyer if you need to file a worker’s comp claim for any emotional or mental health issues. These forms of injury are notoriously difficult to pin down and link to your work, and the psychological evaluator may make the wrong assessment. But if you work with a lawyer, you may be able to appeal their decision and get properly compensated for your condition.
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