Act 57 provides that a claimant may be ordered to submit to an interview by a vocational expert. The purpose of a vocational interview is for the expert to evaluate the injured worker's past education and employment in order to ascertain what type of work the injured worker is qualified to perform. The expert then provides job placement or completes an earning power assessment or labor market survey.
However, many vocational experts work exclusively for insurance companies. Their goal is often the reduction of workers' compensation benefits not vocational rehabilitation.
In this role as an expert for the insurance company, vocational experts will act as private investigators and dig for information to help the insurance company defend against the claim. Often this information has little to do with the vocational process.
The location of the vocational interview should be in a neutral place and not the interviewee's home.
NOTE: An injured worker should have an attorney representing him/her at the vocational interview. Otherwise, the vocational expert may obtain information that is irrelevant to the vocational profiling. Such information is sought to aid the insurance company in performing surveillance. The information can also be used to make job offers that are not compatible with the injured worker's family and life style.
The workers' compensation lawyer team at Michael J. O'Connor & Associates is ready to begin tackling your legal problem today. Email or call our toll free number at 1 (800) 518-4LAW for a free initial consultation and review of your case.
By Michael O'Connor