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Problems in the assessment of psychosomatic conditions in social security benefits and related commercial schemes

Aylward, Mansel and Locascio, John J. 1995. Problems in the assessment of psychosomatic conditions in social security benefits and related commercial schemes. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 39 (6) , pp. 755-765. 10.1016/0022-3999(95)00037-J

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The medical community must recognize that support of claims for Incapacity Benefit and related commercial schemes places the patient in a small and special sub-population of clinical practice which may require specialist investigation, treatment, and documentation. Determination of functional capacity and of disability requires knowledge either not available or unfamiliar to most physicians with caring and therapeutic roles, especially of legal or contractual provisions and occupational data. However, it is not necessary for them to determine disability and they should not be asked to do so. The new, medical assessment procedures for Incapacity Benefit in the UK do not require this, and the largest provider of related commercial schemes (Long Term Disability; Permanent Health Insurance) has already eliminated this requirement from its application process. When such application is anticipated or requested, the medical record should be prepared and appropriate consultation obtained. Subjective issues should be identified and addressed. Comprehensive psychiatric evaluation, especially in subjective impairment, is critical in chronic incapacity. The estimation of functional capacities in the absence of objective data is particularly troublesome, but, clinicians can provide the Disability Medical Analyst with appropriate medical documentation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: incapacity, disability, functional capacity, somatization, social security benefits, permanent health insurance
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0022-3999
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:18

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