During the consumer’s first appointment, complete the application process and the diagnostic interview. During this appointment, you will complete the application-related tasks outlined in ReHabWorks (RHW). The application process consists of obtaining demographic information about the consumer, and information on the consumer’s financial situation and disability. A consumer moves on to the application phase after signing the Application for Services, either in RHW or on the paper application.

Next is the diagnostic interview, which is your first opportunity to investigate the impact of the consumer’s disability on the consumer and the consumer’s ability to live independently. A sound diagnostic interview assists in determining the consumer’s eligibility for services. The diagnostic interview is a means for collecting information because it allows the consumer to provide you with his or her social, medical, and rehabilitation history.

If you have not sufficiently collected information, you may fail to realize the need for a medical or neuropsychological evaluation, a failure that could lead to a poor eligibility decision or developing a less than optimal plan for independence. The diagnostic interview is a critical part of planning and decision-making. Your role in conducting the interview is to listen effectively and ask questions, as needed. Observation can also provide invaluable insight into the consumer's personality, mood, social functioning, and other characteristics and key attributes. The outcome of the diagnostic interview should be that you have a better understanding of the consumer's situation and that the consumer has increased his or her self-awareness.