All certified vocational case mangers can work in the capacity of a vocational expert during legal testimony.
Vocational experts provide testimony regarding two main things:
1) Classifying any work that you have done in the past, often going back to high school. And looking at your educational level.
2) Identifying any work that would be available to you given your physical abilities as defined by your attending physician, your work history and transferable skills, and your local labor market.
The vocational expert provides information to a judge and attorney’s based on your L&I file, and other government publications recognized by both Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, and Social Security Administration, namely, The Dictionary of Occupational Titles, The Selected Characteristics of Occupation, Department of Labor Statistics, Washington Administration Code, and his or her professional expertise and experience.
Vocational experts can be hired to testify on behalf of the injured worker, or the insurer.
While the vocational expert is very important in a disability hearing, they do not decide the case. The judge will review the findings of the case including, testimony of all parties, and records in your file, and will base his/her decision upon that.
SCA has several vocational case managers certified to perform Forensic Evaluations.
A forensic evaluation is used when a claims adjudicator requires an evaluation of a claim to clarify issues. It's also used to determine whether a deceased worker was totally and permanently disabled at the time of death.
The vocational provider:
* Conducts a review of both the medical and vocational records.
* Issues a report containing a recommended course of action.