This fact sheet explains what will happen when a dispute about the degree of permanent impairment arising from a brain injury is referred to the Medical Assessment Service (MAS).
These steps will make sure that all the symptoms arising from a brain injury, and the degree of permanent impairment are fully assessed.
How it will work
Appointments will be arranged for you to see different Assessors. You will receive confirmation from MAS regarding who you need to see and when.
Brain injury assessment
You will be referred to a MAS medical Assessor who is experienced in assessing brain injuries.
The Assessor will determine whether a brain injury has occurred. This is the first step in assessing permanent impairment.
The Assessor will look for evidence of a significant impact to the head.
- your hospital records
- any CT scans or MRI scans of the brain
- the results of any psychometric or neuropsychological testing, if this has been done. This type of testing measures your thinking and behaviour in such areas as memory, learning, planning and problem solving
The Assessor will also undertake his or her own clinical examination.
If the Assessor is unable to determine the degree of permanent impairment without neuropsychological testing, the Assessor will advise MAS. If you have not had any neuropsychological testing MAS will arrange for you to be tested by an experienced neuropsychologist who is also a MAS Assessor.
The brain injury Assessor will use this information to complete their assessment. You will get a copy of the brain injury Assessor’s certificate and the neuropsychologist’s test report.
One of two things may happen.
- The brain injury Assessor states that there is a permanent whole person impairment arising from the brain injury which is greater than 10% ,or, there are no symptoms which relate to a possible psychiatric impairment - in this case, you will not need to see a psychiatrist for an assessment.
- The Assessor states that your symptoms cannot be fully explained by a brain injury - in this case, you will be referred to a psychiatrist for an assessment.
If you have stated in your MAS form that you have a separate brain injury and a separate psychiatric injury, then you will be assessed by both a brain injury Assessor and a psychiatrist Assessor.
You will be referred to a MAS medical Assessor who is an experienced psychiatrist.
The psychiatrist Assessor will see a copy of the certificate issued by the brain injury Assessor and any neuropsychological test results if these were obtained.
The psychiatrist Assessor must first consider whether you have a recognised psychiatric condition. If the psychiatrist Assessor finds that there is a recognised psychiatric condition related to the motor vehicle accident, he or she will determine the extent of permanent impairment arising from this condition.
The psychiatrist Assessor’s certificate will be sent to you (or your solicitor) and the insurer.
For all brain injury assessments
- Please ask someone to advise MAS if you have communication difficulties.
- A support person or carer may accompany you to the assessments.
- A family member or support person who knows you well may be asked to provide information during the course of the assessment.
- You may consult a diary or other notes during the course of the assessments.
- You may NOT bring any new documents to the appointment.
- Please bring to the appointment x-rays, CT scans &/or MRI scans which have been listed in the MAS application and reply forms.
If you have any questions about these assessments, please contact the Case Manager listed on your letter of referral.