Protecting Your Interests During A Vocational Evaluation

There are many hoops to jump through to get your rightful workers' compensation benefits. Indeed, even when you have received an award for permanent disability, you may face an additional hoop in order to keep it.

This additional hoop is called a vocational evaluation. Under Pennsylvania law, your employer or your employer's work comp insurance company may try to use to use such an evaluation to get your benefits reduced.

At the Law Offices of Katherine L. Niven & Associates, PC, we know how important it is to protect your interests throughout the workers' compensation process. Give us a call today to arrange a time to discuss your specific situation. In addition to our main office in Harrisburg, we have numerous satellite offices for your convenience.

What Is The Extent Of Your Disability?

In Pennsylvania, workers' compensation benefits are based on how much you can earn compared to what you were earning before your work injury. After your injury, you may be unable to do your previous job or, in the case of total disability, any job. In order to get workers' comp, you provide medical evidence showing the extent of your disability.

Your employer or employer's work comp insurer might try to show, however, that your medical condition has improved enough for you to perform some other job, even if it doesn't pay as much as your previous job. If this attempt is successful, your workers' comp benefits could be reduced.

Can your employer or employer's insurance company really do this? The process of determining whether you can perform some other work is pretty complicated. It starts with issues about your medical condition, but can go on to questions about what earning capacity you still have and what jobs are available that meet your medical restrictions.

Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience with this process to protect your rights throughout this process and advocate for the benefits you have coming to you.

What Role Does Vocational Rehabilitation Play?

If your work injury involves a disabling condition, it may make sense to seek services from the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation(OVR). The OVR helps disabled people to develop the skills needed to move forward with their lives. To be eligible, you must have a disability that makes you unable to work or live on your own without assistance.

The OVR's services include vocational evaluation and counseling. But it is important to be aware that Pennsylvania law prohibits an employer or workers' compensation insurer from using a vocational evaluation to determine your earning capacity if the OVR has approved your application for vocational rehabilitation.

Take Action To Protect Your Benefits

We realize that this complicated stuff and that you surely have many questions and concerns. To arrange a confidential consultation with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer, call 717-260-3580 or 866-321-5340 Or, if you prefer, complete the online form.