Do You Have A Case?
What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
After you sustain a serious and debilitating injury, you will likely file a disability claim. To build your case, you will need objective evidence of your disability. While physical symptoms can be more easily documented, cognitive and mental symptoms may not be as easily quantifiable. A Neuropsychological Evaluation is one of the most effective ways to prove the extent of your cognitive or psychological disability as a result of your injury or illness. The evaluation provides an objective and quantifiable assessment of your abilities. This is incredibly helpful in building your disability case.
What Types Of Claims Could Benefit From a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
Generally, any long-term disability claim with cognitive or psychological symptoms may benefit from a Neuropsychological Evaluation. Depending on your diagnosis, cognitive dysfunction can manifest differently. Individuals may also experience forms of psychological dysfunction differently. Even with the same diagnosis, it can vary greatly. Some conditions that cause cognitive dysfunction include, but are not limited to:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Brain Disorders
- Ménière’s disease
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Huntington’s disease
- Lyme disease
- Bipolar Disorder
- Epilepsy or other seizure-inducing disorders
- Brain tumors
- Sleep apnea
- Other psychological & mental health disorders
- Medication side-effects
If you are living with one or more of these conditions or other cognitive disorders, your disability claim may benefit from a neuropsychological evaluation. Your long-term disability attorney can help you determine if this is the right step for you.
Who Administers a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
Generally, the test is given by a trained psychologist or neuropsychologist. They will help guide you through the test and review the results of your examination.
What does the Neuropsychological Evaluation Entail?
Most Neuropsychological Evaluations are composed of a series of computer and pen/paper tests that help create a more objective analysis of your cognitive and psychological impairments as a result of your injury. The goal of the evaluation is to provide raw data that the evaluator will then interpret. The skills tested include processing speed, learning, memory, verbal skills, focus, IQ, and executive function. Testing for emotional/psychological functioning may also be a part of the test. This helps add reliability to the results.
How is the Data Interpreted?
Data from the Neuropsychological evaluation can help your evaluator provide objective and quantifiable results regarding your diagnosis. First, they use the data to help confirm symptoms of your cognitive impairments and make a diagnosis, if necessary. Then, they quantify the deficits in specific areas of cognitive functions. The report will help show how these impairments could impact your ability to work. Overall, the results of the evaluation can provide your insurance company with strong evidence of the issues you are struggling with.
Work Task Effectiveness and the Neuropsychological Evaluation
Your evaluator can determine your effectiveness in a wide assortment of job skills that are typical for most work settings. Your disability attorney can inform your evaluator of specific tasks that may be more important to your occupation. Some of the more common tasks the evaluation will test for include:
- Productivity standards
- Remembering tasks/procedures
- Focus and concentration
- Following conversations
- Understanding verbal material
- Stress management
- Deadline management
- Precision when performing tasks
- Articulating Thoughts
- Analysis of complex information
- Processing written material
- Remembering details
Your results can show whether or not your cognitive capabilities limit your ability to perform well in a work environment. This can be vital to building a case when your physical limitations alone may not show the full scope of your disability. Additionally, this testing may inform you and your insurance company that you require further treatment, such as psychiatric care or therapy for a psychological disorder that may be further affecting your cognitive dysfunction. Your results may also signal to the evaluator that you may have an underlying organic or neurological disorder. They may recommend that you seek out diagnostic imaging for your brain, such as a CT scan or MRI.
Is Neuropsychological Evaluation Reliable?
Most insurance companies consider Neuropsychological Evaluation to be one of the most reliable forms of evidence for your cognitive dysfunction and/or disorders. Many will insist that you undergo it for your insurance claim. They may recommend that you use one of their “independent” neuropsychologists. However, the insurance companies pay those neuropsychologists, so it’s generally best to use one recommended by your disability attorney.
Additionally, these evaluations have “validity testing.” These tests have built-in parameters that measure the consistency and effort that you put in during the test. This helps ensure that you are putting in the maximum amount of effort. This prevents people from intentionally trying to influence the results. If your test does not pass the validity parameters, the insurance company is likely to dismiss it as evidence.
How can my Disability Attorney Help me with my Neuropsychological Evaluation?
Your disability attorney can help you step-by-step through your disability insurance claim and appeals if necessary. When it comes to your neuropsychological tests, your attorney can help in a variety of ways. Firstly, they can help you decide if a Neuropsychological Evaluation will help you build your case. Next, they can recommend to the facilitator which tasks you should be tested on based on the type of work you did before your injury. Then, they can provide medical records and other vital background info to the evaluator. This gives the evaluator as much info going into your test as possible. After the test, your attorney can review the results, and look for inaccuracies that may need correction. Lastly, your attorney can help you assess whether or not the test is supportive of your claim. They can also highlight the most favorable parts of the report for your insurance review.
If you are looking to file a long-term disability claim for your condition, you should seek out an experienced attorney. At D’Agostino & Associates, we help people living with disabling conditions file long-term disability claims. We help you through the process step by step to help you build a strong case. Our law team is here for you.
At D’Agostino & Associates, our team of lawyers can help you sort through all the details, understand what you are entitled to, and fight to get what you deserve. D’Agostino & Associates P.C. has offices in New York and New Jersey. Contact us, or call us at 1-888-245-2924 to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys.