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Veterans Disability can be very frustrating and a long process. Medical & Psychological issues are challenging for claims people, attorneys and judges alike to assess in vocational & functional terms. If there is conflicting information, what are the implications, how will it be addressed? It is the purview of the Vocational Expert to address vocational limitations and abilities based on medical and psychological limitations.

Our Vocational Employability Evaluations will give attorneys and representatives an objective assessment to help them win their case, on the record, at the hearing, or at the appeals level.

What a Vocational Expert can do for your TDIU Case:

A Vocational expert takes the guess work out and bridges the gap from medical limitations into vocational functional limitations and work life loss.

OBJECTIVE Medical Signs of Mental Health and in Vocational Terms:

We are one of the FEW Vocational Experts can Advance Forensic Evaluation to address Metal Health and Psychological issues. We also have extensive experience testing individuals with brain injury and low IQ issues. Our Vocational Expert services will be an objective assessment of your claimant's abilities based on record review, diagnostic evaluation, vocational standardized testing (if required), attention and or psychological testing (if required), transferable skills analysis and labor market research to determine address "significant number of jobs exist"

Disability determination requires quality medical evidence and Vocational Expert services. It is usually a challenge for attorneys and judges to assess the true vocational limitations and implications based on medical reports and limitations, and that's true when there isn't a conflict in medical evidence.

Vocational Expert Evaluation Process

Be sure the expert you hire knows VA Claims rules for Veterans Disability Eligibility Vocational Evaluation information includes:

  • Primary: Current and former employment history - dates, locations, employers' name, job titles, requirements, wage rates, job descriptions.
  • Primary: Medical and psychological problems or restrictions - dates, related pain or discomfort. This information may be analyzed relative to the individual's ability to engage in the physical, mental, or social aspects of employment.
  • Medications, treatments and side effects
  • Family and marital relationships - living arrangements
  • Ability to engage in physical activities (walking, lifting, carrying, standing, sitting, pushing/pulling, and bending)
  • Ability to engage in non-physical activities (concentration, memory, social interaction, family interaction, public interaction, following instructions, other thinking skills).
  • Educational and training history - dates, locations, degrees, certifications, licenses.
  • Former and current hobbies, sports, interests, social activities.
  • Future goals and plans - career, education, employment.
  • Financial documents, tax filings, personnel files, educational documents, and other relevant background information may be requested or provided to the expert.

For most evaluations the VE will want to interview the individual in person or video chat. Often prior to the interview a VE may send a questionnaire covering such topics as work history, educational background, and daily living activities. After a review of this documentation, the interview and remaining steps in the evaluation take place. Vocational testing may be conducted to determine aptitude, vocational interests, etc. After testing the expert will interpret the data and provide a vocational analysis addressing career options, job market information, and recommended actions. Job search strategies and sample employment opportunities may also be assessed. At this point the expert will likely discuss his or her opinions with the retaining attorney; a written report can be provided if requested. Further consultation and expert witness testimony can also be provided.

Each Vocational Evaluation is different to match the venue and to meet the needs of the individual case requirements, ranging from a single-session vocational interview to a multi-session assessment.

Why Use a Vocational Evaluation in Veteran Disability & Social Security Disability:

- Defines and objectifies how disabilities are unique and specific to veteran terms of work ability and employability.

-Addresses Psychological, Medical, and Social limitations/issues in one report and in vocational terms.

-Can address Subjective information in vocational terms.

-Can determine if employment was "protected or sheltered"

-Can show how a non-service connected condition is maybe aggravated by the service connected one.

-Handles Non-Exertional limitations

-Address Transferable Skills Analysis

-Work Attendance issues due to hospitalizations, disability, and/or Mental Health issues; this can affect an individual's employability and ability to maintain employment.

-closely transferable occupations.

-individuals ability to manage stress

-Sit/Stand Needs

-Determine if there is significant number of jobs.

VE Qualifications

The expert's curriculum vitae (CV) will assist counsel to identify the expert's qualifications. Counsel will want to obtain information relating to the expert's education, licenses, certifications, training, teaching and writing experience, employment history, professional association membership. Most VE's holds a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling, from a C.O.R.E accredited program. The training should include medical and psychological aspects of disability, work in psychological counseling, vocational testing, and working with individuals who have disabilities, job development and placement. The most respected professional certifications include:

  • Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (C.R.C.)
  • Certified Vocational Evaluator (C.V.E.)

Make sure the Expert Vocational consultant is aware of VA Terms and requirement for TDIU Eligibility.

CONCLUSION

In summary, a vocational expert can be invaluable in divorce/family law cases concerning earning capacity, employment capacity, or vocational potential issues.

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Allan Billehus, CLC, CRC, is an experienced Forensic Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. He has been a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) since 1996 and a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia since 1999.

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