Disability analysts are hired to help improve the quality of life of people with physical and mental disabilities. They conduct assessments with a focus on determining the nature and severity of these disabilities. Health insurance companies use this information to calculate disability benefits, while educational institutions use it to make suitable classroom and workplace modifications. Aspiring analysts must have the right knowledge and skills to enter the profession. In most cases, they need professional certification as well.
Disability analysts must possess in-depth knowledge of mental and physical impairments and their functional effects on the human body. They can obtain this knowledge through a bachelor's degree in healthcare disciplines such as nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and exercise physiology or kinesiology. To enhance their job prospects, many disability analysts pursue additional courses in disability assessments, such as those offered by National Association of Health Underwriters.
Effective disability analysts have strong skills in information gathering and analysis. Their job involves obtaining and examining personal and medical records and detecting any inconsistencies. An understanding of disability laws and regulations governing the disclosure of health information is also essential. For example, disability analysts can only share a client’s health information to authorized persons. Speaking, listening and report writing skills are important as well because these professionals must interview people with disabilities and craft clear reports detailing their findings.
To improve your chances of getting a job as a disability analyst, you need significant healthcare experience. Experienced professionals are more desirable to employers because they can rely on their many years of healthcare work to make sound judgments. As such, people who have worked as nurses or physical or occupational therapists stand a higher chance of getting this job.
The American Board of Disability Analysts offers two levels of certification that aspiring analysts can obtain to enhance their employment prospects. Individuals seeking the Senior Disability Analyst and Diplomate designation must have at least nine years of experience working with the disabled, while those seeking the Disability Analyst and Fellow certification must have at least four years of professional experience working with the disabled. The ABDA also requires certification applicants to submit one work samples and three letters of reference as part of the certification process.