A vocational evaluation is a process in which a vocational expert analyzes a client to establish the client’s vocational skills, interests, aptitudes, and abilities. If a client is mentally or physically disabled, a vocational evaluation can help establish the functional impact of their disability in relation to their career options.
When Should a Vocational Evaluation Be Done?
A vocational evaluation should be done anytime a plaintiff claims a permanent physical or mental impairment that arose from injuries sustained in an event that is the subject of the litigation. The vocational evaluation will establish how the impairment affects the client’s ability to work and earn money.
An evaluation can also help establish other factors, such as functional limitations arising from the impairment. A vocational expert may be able to show that the client can still work, but they will necessitate reasonable accommodations because of their injuries.
The presence of permanent impairment alone does not necessarily mean that an individual has sustained a loss of earning capacity. Likewise, vocational evaluations are not just for injured clients. Spouses going through divorce proceedings should also be evaluated by a vocational expert to help establish spousal support needs, as well as child support awards.
Depending on the type of case, if a long trial is expected, a vocational evaluation should be done at the initiation of the claim and again right before trial. This will avoid unexpected surprises or evidence that the client’s situation has changed and they are in fact more employable than they claim.
Edmond Provder, the owner of Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS), is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. He has worked as a vocational expert witness for over forty years and has extensive experience documenting the income potential and employment capacity of underemployed, unemployed, and disabled individuals. Contact OAS at 800-292-1919 to discuss how we can help in your personal injury, divorce, employment law, or social security disability case.employability, Expert Witness, vocational evaluation, vocational expert