If you’re an injured worker who receives Pennsylvania Workers’ Comp benefits, at some point, the insurer may request a “vocational interview”. This begins the process whereby the insurer tries to establish an earning power. They must first confirm that the pre- injury employer cannot accommodate your restrictions, before undertaking the vocational assessment (sometimes referred to as a “Labor Market Survey” or “Earning Power Assessment”). The vocational interview tends to last about 45 minutes or so. I attend these with my clients to make sure the questions are appropriate and relevant. Then the expert tries to find jobs within the injured worker’s geographical region that fit within the vocational and physical abilities of the injured worker. A report gets generated listing the specific jobs that are allegedly available. It lists the alleged earning power of the injured worker, and soon thereafter a Petition to Modify or Suspend benefits is filed- putting the case before a Workers’ Compensation Judge.
There are many ways to defend a Petition to Modify or Suspend benefits. Call or email me 7 days a week to discuss your case- no fees can be charged in any work comp case without a court order so there must be litigation or a settlement for a a work comp attorney to get paid. In other words- you’ll get advice without having to send us any money. (215) 206-9068 or Michael@CardamoneLaw.com
Every injured worker must realize that the goal of the work comp insurer is to pay AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. So they aggressively use the tools available to them under the PA Workers Comp Act to challenge benefits. The Vocational Assessment is a common way to challenge benefits. It is not a wise decision to fight the insurer alone. They are receiving legal advice from attorneys and you should too. Your loss of earning power may be significant and permanent and you won’t want to have your checks reduced merely because you failed to “lawyer up”. This area of the PA Work Comp Act is very technical and you will want a Certified PA Work Comp Specialist to maximize your chances at defending against a reduction in your weekly or bi-weekly checks.