Millions of people with psychiatric disorders are competitively employed in the United States labor force.At any given time, some employees with mental health problems may want or need to leave the workplace due to these disorders, either temporarily or permanently; others want to remain at or return to work despite mental health impairments. The administrative and legal employment policies and decisions governing these employment actions require medical documentation of psychiatric impairment and disability. Therefore, when occupational circumstances requiring evaluation of psychiatric impairment and disability arise, mental health professionals are called upon to conduct evaluations and document occupational impairments. Clinicians at all levels of training are bound to be asked to provide some form of disability evaluation for individuals who have been or still are competitively employed.
The Clinical Guide to Mental Health Disability Evaluations fills a need of increasing importance for practitioners in all mental health fields and at all levels of training, including general clinical psychologists and psychiatrists and forensic mental health specialists. The Guide offers comprehensive practical information needed to navigate the confusing intersection of the worlds of mental health, public and private agencies that adjudicate disability, and legal requirements that govern agencies and employers and protect individuals with mental disorders from illegal discrimination. Chapters review salient issues such as legal and ethical concerns, malingering, psychological testing, return to work issues, and complex boundary issues. The second half of the Guide addresses practical issues in specialized evaluations, including those required by
• Social Security Disability Insurance
• Workers’ Compensation claims
• Private insurers providing long-term disability benefits
• The Americans with Disabilities Act
• Workplace violence concerns
• Fitness for duty evaluations, including specific chapters for physicians, health care personnel, and law enforcement officers
The Guide ably addresses the need for training in conducting and documenting disability evaluationsand will improve mental health professionals’ understanding and competence in fulfilling all the important roles they occupy in the disability process.