FAQ's - VOCATIONAL ANALYSIS
1. In what types of cases is a vocational
Paul M. Deutsch & Associates prepares a vocational analysis in both catastrophic
and non-catastrophic cases.
2. What is a vocational analysis?
A vocational analysis encompasses a range of considerations. In adult cases,
a vocational analysis evaluates an individual’s potential to work in
the competitive labor market, loss of access to the labor market, and loss
of earning capacity as the result of an injury. When assessing vocational options,
consideration is also given to factors such as age, level of education, work
history, skills and knowledge, interests and aptitudes, and placeability. In
pediatric cases, the educational and occupational history of parents and other
family members, the child’s educational records, standardized test results,
and other factors guide the analysis of his/her vocational development potential.
3. Why is a vocational analysis important?
For most, work is a fundamental aspect of an adult’s identity, sense
of purpose, social interaction, and sense of community. In addition to recognizing
the important psychosocial aspect of work, a vocational analysis is a critical
component of a comprehensive assessment of the economic damages in both catastrophic
and non-catastrophic cases.
4. What are the components of a vocational analysis?
Multiple sources of research data are referenced in order to develop each
of the following components of a vocational analysis:
- Anticipated length of the rehabilitation program
- Vocational handicaps
- Impact on placement and range of job alternatives
- Rehabilitation plan
- Vocational development options, pre-onset
- Vocational development options, post-onset
- Pre-injury vocational alternatives
- Post-injury vocational alternatives
Vocational analyses produced by Paul M. Deutsch & Associates address each
of these areas and can be used by an economist to project long-term losses
and reduce them to present day value.
5. How is a vocational analysis developed?
A vocational analysis involves a number of considerations and requires a methodical
approach. Following a complete rehabilitation evaluation, vocational handicaps
incurred as a result of the onset of the disability are outlined. More specifically,
the impact of these handicaps on the individual's ability to compete for jobs
in the labor market is assessed. This helps to establish whether the individual will
not only be able to obtain but also maintain competitive employment.
Second, consideration is given to the extent to which these handicaps impact
the individual's ability to compete for an equivalent level of employment in
the labor market. It is important to consider the worker trait groups associated
with past employment and the extent to which transferable skills remain. The
next step in a non-catastrophic case is to look at the rehabilitation plan
and to consider what needs to be done to move the individual from his/her current
status or condition to the point of being "work ready." For example,
what medical, psychological and rehabilitation programs will be necessary to
achieve work-ready status? What are the costs? Is each step documented by clinical
practice guidelines, research literature, contact with the treatment team and/or
contact with consulting specialist?
It is necessary to establish the pre-morbid or pre-injury earnings base for
the individual. This may include a review of employment records, tax returns,
school records or several other options depending on the age and career development
of the individual. This must be determined on a case by case basis. Bear in
mind, there are a limited number of educational and career development options
available to the individual who has not yet reached an age where they can demonstrate
an established career direction. In these instances, it is possible to set
a floor for possible future development but not a ceiling. The final step is
to determine the ability of the individual to compete in the current labor
market based on their handicapping conditions and potential for rehabilitation.
This is referred to as the establishment of the diminution of earning capacity.