At MedicoLegal Psychiatry, we offer independent medical examinations for individuals who are facing worker’s compensation claims.
Key Questions to Ask About Your IME Psychiatric Evaluation
People inevitably have questions about what an IME psychiatric evaluation entails. Here are several of the most common questions about this evaluation, which is performed by a SIRA approved psychiatrist:
- What is an independent medical examination? Your independent medical examination, undertaken by an Independent Medical Examiner or IME, provides your legal representative with an independent professional opinion regarding your health, injury, and treatment needs. This information assists with determining your entitlement to compensation which might include funding for treatment and rehabilitation
- What do you need to do? At the request of your solicitor or your employer’s workers compensation insurer, you will be required to attend your IME evaluation. You will receive a letter about the reason for the evaluation and the arrangements. You should confirm the appointment and let the person requesting the exam know if you require any special resources, such as disabled access or an interpreter.
- This assessment may include consideration of whether the claimant is healthy enough to work. There may be concerns about limitations arising from the psychiatric injury or the effects of the job on the health and attendance of the employee. In these cases, an assessment can help the employer to make a decision that’s in the best interest of both parties.
- Participate fully in the assessment. The Independent Medical Examiner will ask you a variety of questions to understand the extent of your injury, what caused it, how it affects your life and other key considerations. You will also be asked questions about your personal history and medical history to enable the Independent Medical Examiner to put your current injury and recent events into context. Be honest, straightforward, and clear. Keep in mind that the IME cannot provide you with advice about your condition or about any treatments that you are considering or have received. Follow up with your regular doctor for advice.
Understanding Whole-Person Impairment and How It Affects You
If you have sustained an injury at work, then you may hear the term “whole-person impairment.” Whole-person impairment may be physical or psychological. Your level of whole-person impairment helps to determine your entitlements, but a trained medicolegal provider must be the one to assess your level or Whole Person Impairment.
What You Should Know About Whole-Person Impairment
When you claim for workers compensation, the IME may include and assessment of your level of whole-person impairment. Here’s what you need to know about whole-person impairment:
- Your level of whole-person impairment directly relates to the compensation that you will receive.
- The independent medical examiner consider the impact of the psychiatric injury based on the information you provide during the assessment and the documents that might be provided by your solicitor or the workers compensation insurance company. The psychiatric assessment of whole person impairment will be calculated in accordance with Workers Compensation Guidelines.
- The Independent Medical Examiner who undertakes the assessment will have undergone specific training in the assessment of whole person impairment. The experts at MedicoLegal Psychiatry have undergone this training and are experienced in undertaking such assessments.
What You Should Know About a Section 32 Psychiatrist
Section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act can help individuals who are living with mental illnesses to get the help that they need instead of facing criminal penalisation. In many cases, the magistrate may dismiss certain charges if the individual agrees to participate in a treatment plan.
If you are receiving a Section 32 assessment in NSW, here are a few key facts that you need to know:
- Do you have a mental health condition that might qualify you for Section 32 assistance? Mental health conditions need not be mental illnesses or developmental disabilities to qualify. A mental health condition may be one of a wide range of disorders. These may include depression, anxiety, substance abuse, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. In general, a mental health condition that qualifies is one that is treatable through a mental health professional and which may necessitate hospital treatment.
- How to apply for Section 32. If you believe that you qualify for a Section 32 Order, be sure to speak to your criminal lawyer as soon as you can. To apply for a Section 32, you’ll need a report from a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist. Your lawyer can arrange for you to see a psychiatrist with Section 32 experience. It’s vital for your lawyer to have experience dealing with Section 32 Orders, as the process can be complicated. It is also essential that your solicitor refers you for a psychiatric assessment early in the process. Magistrates may not always grant an adjournment to obtain a report.
- The conditions of a Section 32. People who are granted a Section 32 may be required to adhere to specific conditions set by the magistrate. These conditions will depend on your situation and may include abstaining from drugs and alcohol, taking prescribed medications, agreeing to review these medications and your condition regularly with a professional, and participating in mandatory counselling sessions. Failure to adhere to these conditions could result in the revocation of your Section 32 and the continuance of your original charges in court.
At MedicoLegal Psychiatry, we handpick each member of our team to include only psychiatrists with experience in clinical management of mentally ill patients, testifying in court, treatment of drug and alcohol abuse, and the prison system. Contact us today to find out how we can help.
Motor Accident Authority
Fitness to plea
Mental Illness Defence
Mental Health Diversion (Section 32/Section 21a)
Fitness to instruct counsel
Fitness for Work
Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Total and Permanent Disablement