If your medical condition causes significant cognitive symptoms, you may consider undergoing a neuropsychological evaluation to support your long term disability claim. A neuropsychological evaluation can bolster your claim, and it may be able to reverse a disability claim denial.
In this article, we’ll discuss what a neuropsychological evaluation tests for, what kind of disability claims a neuropsychological evaluation can support, how a neuropsychological evaluation can help prove your disability claim, and how the experienced team at The Maddox Firm can help with your disability claim.
What Does a Neuropsychological Evaluation Test For?
A neuropsychological evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of cognitive and behavioral functions, including abilities related to brain functioning. Neuropsychological evaluations are typically conducted by neuropsychologists with specialized training in understanding how the brain impacts behavior and cognitive processes. The evaluation can be performed over one day or two days.
During a neuropsychological evaluation, a range of tests and assessments are used to assess various aspects of cognitive function, including:
Intelligence and overall cognitive functioning
Attention and concentration
Memory and learning abilities
Language and communication skills
Visual-spatial abilities and perception
Executive functions, including problem-solving, planning, and decision-making
Motor and sensory functions
Emotional and behavioral functioning
These assessments may involve standardized tests, interviews, and questionnaires, and are designed to identify any areas of cognitive and behavioral deficits. Neuropsychological evaluations are used to comprehensively measure the extent of your cognitive dysfunction and impairment in different aspects of functioning.
During the evaluation, the neuropsychologist will ask you in-depth questions regarding your condition and your occupation. This includes information on your diagnoses, any prescribed medications, your job role, and your educational history. This way the neuropsychologist can interpret the evaluation results and render an informed opinion on your ability to work in your occupation with your level of cognitive impairment.
What Kind of Disability Claims Can a Neuropsychological Evaluation Support?
A neuropsychological evaluation can support disability claims related to a wide range of conditions that impact cognitive and behavioral functioning. Some examples include:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): A neuropsychological evaluation can assess the extent of damage caused by a TBI and identify the functional limitations resulting from the injury.
Stroke: A neuropsychological evaluation can identify cognitive deficits and physical limitations resulting from a stroke.
Neurodegenerative Disorders: Neuropsychological evaluations can assess cognitive functioning and identify the presence and severity of memory loss, executive dysfunction, and other cognitive impairments resulting from neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Medication Side Effects: Common medication side effects including fatigue and brain fog can affect your cognitive function. A neuropsychological evaluation may be used to verify and substantiate the impact of medication side effects on your functioning.
Mental Health Disorders: Neuropsychological evaluations can assess cognitive, behavioral, and emotional functioning, and identify the impact of mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder on your ability to function in daily life and at work. The results can be used to support disability claims related to mental health disorders.
This list contains only a few examples. There is a wide range of medical conditions that affect cognitive functioning. Oftentimes a physical condition or illness will cause symptoms such as fatigue and pain that in turn impact cognitive functioning. In general, a neuropsychological evaluation can provide valuable data that can be used to support disability claims related to any condition that affects cognitive or behavioral functioning.
How Can a Neuropsychological Evaluation Help Prove My Disability Claim?
A neuropsychological evaluation can be a valuable tool in proving your short or long term disability claim by providing objective evidence of the functional limitations caused by your condition. Here are a few ways in which a neuropsychological evaluation can help support your disability claim:
Objective Assessment: Neuropsychological evaluations are designed to provide objective assessments of cognitive and behavioral functioning. The results of these tests can provide concrete evidence of the extent and severity of your condition in support of your claim for disability benefits.
Identify Limitations: The results of a neuropsychological evaluation can help identify the specific cognitive and behavioral limitations that are caused by your condition. These limitations can be used to demonstrate how your condition affects your ability to perform the activities of daily living and work-related tasks.
Establish Credibility: When you undergo a neuropsychological evaluation, you are working with a licensed and experienced professional who can provide a detailed report of your condition. The evaluation will include embedded validity measures, which further substantiate the report’s credibility to your insurance company. The neuropsychological evaluation report can be used to provide objective evidence of your cognitive impairment and help demonstrate the legitimacy of your disability claim.
Provide Documentation: Neuropsychological evaluations provide a detailed record of your cognitive and behavioral functioning that can be used as documentation to support your disability claim. This documentation can help demonstrate the severity and persistence of your symptoms over time.
The impact of symptoms such as fatigue and pain on cognitive functioning can be difficult to objectively measure. Your insurance company will likely be skeptical of reports of fatigue or pain and their impact on your cognitive functioning unless you can back them up with objective medical evidence. A neuropsychological evaluation is one of the best ways to obtain comprehensive and objective evidence of how your symptoms impact your ability to cognitively function and carry out your material job duties.
How Can The Maddox Firm Help With My Disability Claim?
Cognitive or behavioral symptoms are often more difficult to prove to your insurance company compared to physical conditions. Sometimes it is the combined impact of your physical symptoms and your cognitive symptoms that results in short or long term disability. It is imperative to explain to your insurance company the full extent of your symptoms and provide them with objective medical evidence. Your insurance company will demand substantive proof of your cognitive impairment to approve your claim.
We always recommend consulting with an ERISA attorney when filing, appealing, or litigating a short or long term disability claim. The experienced team at The Maddox Firm has helped hundreds of clients with cognitive or behavioral conditions successfully file for short or long term disability. We also regularly refer clients for neuropsychological evaluations and ensure the resulting report reflects the extent of their disabling cognitive symptoms.
Here are some ways The Maddox Firm can help you with a neuropsychological evaluation in support of your short or long term disability claim:
The Maddox Firm will examine your disability insurance policy. Your disability insurance policy is key to understanding what bar you must meet for benefit approval with your insurance company. The definition of disability will depend on the terms of your policy. Generally speaking, most policies require you to prove you are disabled from your own occupation for a period of time, before you must prove you are disabled from any occupation reasonable for your level of training, education, and experience.
For conditions that cause cognitive impairment, this means that at the beginning of your claim, the level of impairment must limit you from performing the material duties of your own occupation. If, for example, you are a high level executive at a large corporation, your occupation may require a high level of executive function. Even “minor” cognitive impairment could prevent you from being able to work and qualify you for disability benefits.
By examining your disability insurance policy, The Maddox Firm can explain to you what your insurance company will require when you file your short or long term disability claim. This lays the groundwork for our strategy to get your claim approved.
The Maddox Firm will gather all of your medical and vocational evidence. The Maddox Firm will handle obtaining your existing medical records and any vocational evidence, such as your official job description. The Maddox Firm understands what your insurance company will be looking for. In reviewing your existing evidence, we can determine any gaps, inaccuracies, or red flags. This allows us to get ahead of any questions your insurance company may have with further evidence of your disabling symptoms.
The Maddox Firm will help you obtain any needed additional evidence. The Maddox Firm can refer you to providers for additional testing, including a neuropsychological evaluation. We routinely refer our clients for neuropsychological evaluations with trusted professionals and review the resulting reports. Since we are very familiar with neuropsychological evaluation reports, we understand how to ensure they accurately and comprehensively reflect your disabling condition and associated cognitive symptoms. We will coordinate with the evaluating neuropsychologist to confirm the final report is accurate and fully detailed. The neuropsychological evaluation report can be submitted to your insurance company to offer more substantive, credible evidence of how your cognitive impairment prevents you from working.
The Maddox Firm will handle all communications with your insurance company. When you retain The Maddox Firm, we will immediately take over any communication with your insurance company. We make certain that all required paperwork is received, completed, and reviewed by your insurance company in a timely manner. If your insurance company requires an interview with you, we will prepare you for the meeting and sit in to ensure that your insurance company does not overstep its bounds.
The Maddox Firm will handle an appeal or litigation on your behalf. If your disability claim has already been denied, or your benefits are terminated, The Maddox Firm can handle your appeal or litigation with your insurance company.
We always recommend speaking with a trusted attorney before filing or appealing a short or long term disability claim. Whether you are looking for assistance in navigating the claims process, appealing a claim denial, or litigating a final adverse decision, The Maddox Firm can help. The team at The Maddox Firm will look over your insurance policy, correspondence from your insurance company, medical records, and any other relevant documentation in order to give you personalized guidance on how we can help you win your short and/or long term disability claim.
Contact us to help you file your claim, appeal, or litigation the right way.