Workers Compensation evaluations can occur at several stages in the claims process. The first evaluation that injured workers undergo is an additional allowance evaluation. The purpose of this evaluation is to determine if the injured worker suffers from a psychological disorder that is a proximal and direct result of an allowed, work-related physical injury. If this is the case, the injured worker can have the psychological disorder added to their claim. Permanent partial disability evaluations are typically the next evaluation. The purpose of these evaluations is to evaluate the degree of partial impairment associated with an allowed psychological condition. This impairment level is represented by a percentage. The partial impairment for psychological conditions typically ranges from 0% to 35%. Finally, a permanent total disability evaluation determines if an injured worker will never be able to return to sustained remunerative employment as a result of their allowed psychological condition. Dr. Tarescavage has published peer-reviewed research on individuals undergoing worker’s compensation evaluations.
Prior to their Workers Compensation Evaluation with Dr. Tarescavage, the injured worker will complete a brief history questionnaire. They will be encouraged to gather relevant medical records (if possible) to bring with them to their appointment as well as to identify a short list of people who know them well and could provide information on their recent functioning. The in-person component of the evaluation lasts approximately 2.5 hours and begins with an overview of the purpose of the evaluation as well as a review of the limitations on confidentiality. After introductions, the injured worker typically completes one-hour of psychological testing. This testing generally includes the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-3 (MMPI-3), a widely-used and well-validated psychological test. While the injured worker is completing testing, Dr. Tarescavage will review available treatment records and attempt to contact others who know the injured worker well (with their permission). This testing, record review, and collateral information provides a comprehensive and objective foundation for a well-informed and impartial diagnostic interview. After testing and record review is completed, Dr. Tarescavage conducts the clinical interview. The first part of the interview involves the collection of background information (family, educational, medical, employment, military, legal, and substance use). The second part of the interview is the diagnostic assessment. This is by far the most comprehensive area of inquiry during the interview. Dr. Tarescavage will assess the evaluee’s symptoms, the course of their problems, and functional impairment. Finally, Dr. Tarescavage gives the evaluee preliminary feedback on their assessment results. However, Dr. Tarescavage will never give feedback on his opinion on whether or not the evaluee has sustained an injury that is a direct and proximate result of the alleged behavior during the clinical interview. After the in-person evaluation is completed, Dr. Tarescavage will finish the record review and collateral contact process (if applicable) and write a 6 to 8 page report detailing his findings and opinions. The referral source will receive the report within three business days of the evaluation (assuming additional records do not need to be requested).