What Does It Take to Become a Certified Life Care Planner?

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certified life care planners

If you are seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or you were injured in a serious car accident, then you may become familiar with the occupation known as a certified life care planner. That is because when it comes to determining your ability to do work and perform routine day-to-day functions at home – which are critical in determining how much disability income or personal injury damages you should receive – a certified life care planner will have a role in making those determinations. 

In this article, we will take a look at the basics of what is a “life care plan,” and what it takes to become the person who quantifies a person’s level of disability – the certified life care planner.   

If, after reading this article, you have more questions about a certified life care planner for your own personal circumstances, then we welcome you to talk to us at Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS).  

We are one of the most experienced employability and life care planning firms in the United States. To discuss your case, call us at1-800-292-1919, contact us at a location near you, or through our online form.

Life Care Plans – A Primer

A life care plan is an important document that articulates a person’s inability to perform normal day-to-day functions and place a dollar value on the amount needed to compensate for an accident victim’s disability.  

There are seven basic steps to creating a Life Care Plan, as follows:

1. Review relevant documentation;
2. Visit the patient’s home;
3. Interview the patient;
4. Assess the value of a disability’s impact on a person’s day-to-day life;
5. Create a list of a person’s disability needs;
6. Provide cost estimates of required items for a person’s life activities;
7. Give an opinion on the overall needs of a disabled person.

Typically, life care plans are created by individuals hired in an accident or disability case to analyze a victim’s past history, medical and employment history; and his or her present medical prognosis. The information is then used to create a life care plan that estimates the victim’s future medical needs for the rest of his or her life.

The people preparing life care plans are experts with a range of qualifications and experience that make them able to create a valid, credible life care plans. Any expert preparing a life care plan has a significant background in patient care over a wide range of disabilities and has the ability to project the costs relative to a victim’s likely future medical needs and future medical costs.

Let’s take a look at the essential elements required for someone to become a certified life care planner.

Purpose of Certification

There is a difference between a life care planner and a certified life care planner. The purpose of getting the “certified” credential is to gauge a life care planner’s working knowledge of medical systems, disabilities associated with various medical systems, and the protocols for treatment for catastrophically disabled individuals to sustain their lives with an acceptable level of comfort. 

What Makes Someone a Certified Life Care Planner?

The certification to be a certified life care planner involves two particular factors. First, the person should be a “qualified healthcare provider.” Second, the person must have the appropriate education and training. Then, a person so qualified needs to take an exam to become certified.

Here are some more specifics about the criteria to be eligible to take the exam.  

Certified life care planner candidates must have approximately 120 hours of post-graduate or post-specialty degree training specifically in life care planning, or in areas that apply to the development of life care planning, or are connected to the service of life care planning. Of those 120 hours, about 16 of them should be devoted to training specific to a basic orientation, methodology, and standards of practice in life care planning.  

Below is a list of educational components that would encompass the proper training, in addition to the 16 hours of life care planning methodology just mentioned.  

1. A class in Catastrophic Case Management
2. A vocational rehabilitation class
3. Legal instruction in life care planning that provides some experience in giving onsite and trial testimony
4. Review of a life care plan drafted by the candidate to show competency.

In addition, candidates should have at least three years of field experience that are within five years before taking the certification exam. 

Finally, certified life care planners must have met the minimum academic requirements related to their chosen field in the health care profession, and must be certified or otherwise legally licensed to practice in their chosen health care profession.

As you can see, becoming a certified life care planner requires quite a bit of schooling and training. That is so that judges can reasonably rely on the important assessments that life care planners make in catastrophic injury cases. 

Let OAS Prepare a Life Care Plan or Vocational Assessment in Your Case.    

OAS specializes in working with the plaintiff or defense attorney to assist in objectively documenting the economic damages in a case.  From the initial referral to the trial testimony, OAS works with the retaining attorney so that the damages of the case can be objectively and efficiently presented. 

We strongly believe in the importance of a clear and understandable presentation of the facts. OAS is the leading provider of Vocational Expert and Life Care Planning Services for Plaintiff and Defense attorneys. 

The company specializes in assisting attorneys in documenting the damages in cases where an individual has been severely injured by providing objective findings on how the injuries affect a persons’ ability to work and earn money, as well as the cost of care required in catastrophic injuries.

OAS is your Vocational Expert & Life Care Planner Nationwide, with offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Nevada, and California.

Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. is one of the most experienced employability and life care planning firms in the United States.  To discuss your case, call us at 1-800-292-1919, contact us at a location near you, or through our online form.