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What to Expect From a Functional Capacity Evaluation

What to Expect From a Functional Capacity Evaluation

What to Expect From a Functional Capacity Evaluation

Almost three million Americans suffered an on the job injury or illness in recent years. If you are one of them, you might need to take a functional capacity evaluation to receive rehabilitation services.

Functional capacity evaluations are a way to see if a person can meet the physical and mental demands of a job.

Contact Vocational Consultants for Assessments on Worker Compensation Seattle WashingtonWho requires a functional capacity evaluation?

Not sure if someone meets the requirements for an FCE? Here are some reasons they might qualify:

  • Applying for Social Security benefits
  • Students transferring from a school setting to work
  • Someone who needs vocational rehabilitation
  • Someone coming back to work after a serious accident

These are a few of the reasons you might need to take a functional capacity evaluation. Usually, it will be an attorney, human resources manager, or insurance representative that will recommend you take one.

What does a functional capacity evaluation look at?

An FCE looks at two things: impairment and disability. Impairment is a medically assessed change in someone’s overall health. Disability is the inability to complete what is required by the job.

An impairment could be something like the loss of a finger while operating machinery. Meanwhile, a disability would include something like an inability to lift objects heavier than 10 pounds in a job that required it.

To determine impairment or disability, an occupational therapist will generally go through four steps:

  1. Initial interview
  2. Reviewing medical history and records
  3. Performing a physical exam
  4. Functional capacity evaluation

What does a functional capacity evaluation consist of?

You will be asked to complete certain physical tasks related to your job. Below are a few tasks might be required to perform:

  • Pushing and pulling an object
  • Lifting various weights
  • Ability to balance when standing, walking, running, or crouching
  • Lifting and stooping
  • Measuring finger dexterity
  • Sitting for extended periods of time
  • Grasping and gripping an object
  • Climbing up and down scaffolding, stairs, etc.

There are more elements of the evaluation, but you may not be asked to perform all of them. Some evaluations last as long as two days.

How should you prepare for a functional capacity evaluation?

As you can see, you will be doing a lot of physical activity during your evaluation. Make sure to dress appropriately in comfortable clothes and sneakers.

Make sure you bring anything related to your condition. That includes medications, braces, canes, or any other relevant medical equipment.

You will be pushing yourself to maximum capacity. If you feel worse and need to stop, notify the specialist evaluating you.

In conclusion, feel confident going to your functional capacity evaluation appointment.

Make sure to communicate with your therapist, attorney, human resources representative, and others before, during, and after.

Do only what you can. Don’t make your condition worse and be clear about what you can and can’t do.

At the end of the day, this test is here to help you get what you need. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to us at Solutions Northwest Inc. and we can help. Solutions Northwest Inc. employs experts in personal injury, workers’ compensation, and family law. If you need our guidance, our legal experts are ready to guide you through the process.

Contact us today to make an appointment.

Subscribe to our blog for more work related tips from Solutions Northwest, Inc., experts available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, WA.

Contact the Vocational Consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Contact our Vocational Consultants

Vocational Law: Loss of Income vs Loss of Earning Capacity

Vocational Law: Loss of Income vs Loss of Earning Capacity

Vocational Law: Loss of Income vs Loss of Earning Capacity

Loss of income and earning capacity may sound similar in nature, but they differ greatly when it comes to a personal injury case. Loss of income, in particular, is a current widespread fear in the age of COVID-19.

In the following article, our personal injury experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. will go over the major factors that differentiate the two. However, let’s start with a definition of each. 

What is the definition of lost income and earning capacity?

Lost income is for work that has already been done. Loss of earning capacity means the money you would have made had you been enabled to go on working at your normal capabilities.

One deals with the past, while the other deals with the future. In both cases, you will need to replace the income that is no longer coming your way.

Figuring that out for the purposes of a settlement depends on the following factors:

1. Pay Stubs

The easiest way to replace your income through an insurance claim or lawsuit is to be able to show the actual work you have missed due to an injury that isn’t your fault. You can do that by pointing to your pay stubs and tallying up a total Contact Vocational Consultants for Assessments on Worker Compensation Seattle Washingtonnumber based on how many of them you have gone without. This primarily would pertain to loss of income.

2. Work Experience

The more work experience you possess, the higher your earnings will probably be. This is important when trying to prove missed earning capacity to your loss of earnings insurance provider. While more difficult to do, it can certainly help increase the size of your settlement.

3. Skills and Education

Another key factor in getting the replacement income you deserve is to be able to point to your skills and education. This varies among the workforce, and the more advanced you are, the more capable you are of demonstrating a higher earning capacity.

4. Promotions and Career Growth

Perhaps one of the most difficult things about calculating earning power is projecting possible promotions and career growth with a high enough degree of probability that the law will be on your side. To pull it off, you will need a great attorney and vocational experts.

You will also need ample documentation regarding your work, skills, and acknowledged performance. Consider examples like sterling employer reviews or acceptance into an established management training program at your company.

5. Time Away From Work

Time missed from work can help you clearly determine loss of income. Just factor up your rate of pay at the time of your injury and multiply by the number of checks you will miss. If you are included in an across-the-board raise with other workers during that time, you may have to make adjustments to factor in that fluctuation. 

Time away from work may also affect your earning capacity. We see that in the reduced number of hours COVID-19 has forced upon parents, particularly women.

6. Severity of the Injury or Impairment

Being out for an extended period of time, which can affect both loss of income and earning capacity, is the final factor we’d like to cover. If you’re out for an extended period (see above), loss of income should be easy to prove.

Out for good? That’s where you’ll need to start factoring in the intangibles to get at a believable number for earning capacity

In conclusion, loss of income and earning capacity are worth exploring.

If you are out of work for any length of time, you may only qualify for loss of income. However, both lost income and earning capacity are worth exploring the longer the situation goes on. 

For more legal considerations, check out some of our additional posts.  If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to us at Solutions Northwest Inc. and we can help. Solutions Northwest Inc. employs experts in personal injury, workers’ compensation, and family law. If you need our guidance, our legal experts are ready to guide you through the process.

Contact us today to make an appointment.

Subscribe to our blog for more work related tips from Solutions Northwest, Inc., experts available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, WA.

 

 

 

 

Contact the Vocational Consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Contact our Vocational Consultants

How to Find a Vocational Expert

How to Find a Vocational Expert

How to Find a Vocational Expert

When you or an employee cannot sustain and perform full-time work, they can qualify for disability. Unfortunately for some employees, getting approved for social security benefits is not as simple as it appears. 

Sometimes you or your attorney must call in the expertise of a vocational expert

Contact Vocational Consultants for Assessments on Worker Compensation Seattle WashingtonA vocational expert can help in a variety of ways. Learn what she does, what she can do for you and what you can expect in the future from the collaboration.

What is a vocational expert?

The Social Security Administration created the vocational expert role to assist with vocational cases. Ultimately, Administrative Law Judges will make the final determination in disability hearings concerning benefits.

A vocational expert is used to act as an expert witness during social security disability hearings. They present facts about current jobs available in the labor market for those with disabilities. Vocational experts also testify on what skills you need to perform specific jobs. 

During your case, Administrative Law Judges will call upon vocational experts for objective and impartial testimonies to expedite final judgments.  Vocational experts are not agents of the Social Security Administration, but their independent findings help determine rulings either in your favor or against you.

What can a vocational expert do for you?

In some cases, disability can be challenging to prove. Even with documented impairment, you will have to successfully demonstrate why you cannot work.

Seeing that you will have to answer questions from the judge and your attorney, you will need help from an expert. 

A positive to having a vocational expert present at your hearing is that they can testify about your inability to perform your previous work. They also determine whether any skills you learned can be applied to another job.

For example, an Administrative Law Judge may ask a vocational expert if you can still perform your previous job with your disability. If the vocational expert says you can still perform your previous job, your request for benefits may be denied. Conversely, if the vocational expert testifies that you cannot carry out the duties of your prior job, that may help your claim succeed. 

Keep in mind, this all depends on the type of injury you sustained that caused the disability. In the same vein, all of your limitations will come into play and vocational experts will provide accurate evidence of those limitations. The vocational expert will also speak on your inability (or ability) to transfer skills to another job.

You can retain and hire your own vocational expert.

Social Security employs independent vocational experts, but you have the right to hire your own.

During this process, an Administrative Law Judge will call upon the impartial testimony of a vocational expert. At times, a judge’s hypothetical questions can cause a vocational expert to sway in their testimony.

Hiring your own vocational expert ensures impartiality. It also decreases the chances of miss-classification of your past relevant work. 

In conclusion, it is a good idea to be involved when choosing a vocational expert.

Proving disability is not a simple task. Denials happen and you must keep pressing forward. Consider collaborating with a vocational expert or ensuring your attorney is using a vocational expert that will have your best interest at heart. 

At Solutions Northwest Inc., we can help you find a vocational expert or give you general vocational consulting. Our vocational experts are involved in personal injury, workers’ compensation, and family law. If you need our guidance, our legal experts are ready to guide you through the process.

Contact us today to make an appointment or ask a question.

Subscribe to our blog for more work related tips from Solutions Northwest, Inc., experts available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, WA.

 

 

Contact the Vocational Consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Contact our Vocational Consultants

Disability Management Services and Your Workplace

Disability Management Services and Your Workplace

Vocational Consultants - Disability Management Services and Your Workplace

“15% or about 1 billion people worldwide live with a disability” UN.org

Between 110 and 190 million people have significant disabilities. Disability management services coordinate services for those with disabilities.

Continue reading to learn more.

Contact Vocational Consultants for Assessments on Worker Compensation Seattle WashingtonConsequences of disabilities in the real world.

When someone has a disability, it affects both their personal lives and society. The individual can have poor social and economic outcomes. This may result from and cause: Lower education levels, poorer health, lower employment levels, increased poverty rates, environmental, social, and economic factors can add to these problems.

Disabled people may not have access to assistive devices and technologies. There are often gaps in communication and delivery of services.

Prejudices and stigmas affect a person with disabilities’ (PWD) social interactions. Poor nutrition, often associated with poverty, also impacts the individual’s heath. They may not have safe water, sanitation, or adequate health care.

PWDs often have trouble getting a job. This may result from a lack of education. They often receive lower wages and have higher costs of living.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The ADA created laws to protect PWDs. The ADA established a set of rules. They focus on making employment, services, and public places easier to access.

The following summarizes the rules regarding PWDs:

          • Private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies, and labor unions must comply
          • Prohibits discrimination in the application process, hiring, job training, or firing
          • All government transit must make buildings, facilities, and transport vehicles accessible
          • All interactive devices must allow accessibility for those with hearing and speech problems
          • Programs that accept federal financial help may not discriminate in programs or activities
          • People with hearing and speech problems need sign language interpreters to ease communication
          • The U.S. Department of Labor handles enforcing the ADA

What are Disability Management Services?

Disability Management Services make sure companies meet the employee’s disability needs. This can include coordinating Short-term disability, Long-term disability, Workers’ compensation, and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

This increases efficiency in the cost and administration of these plans. It often improves the employee’s experience. Some financial and operational benefits include direct program cost savings, a decrease in productivity losses, decreased absences, enhanced claims and employee absence tracking, process simplification for employers and employees, and improved employee satisfaction.

Disability Management services can complete a thorough check for specific barriers. They assess all measures currently in place. These services also make suggestions for improvements.

For workers impacted by disabilities, our Vocational Experts can help!

Disabilities impact people in a personal manner, social situations, and business settings. Some individuals feel uncomfortable interacting with PWDs. Today’s society must develop a view of people’s abilities and promote accessibility.

Disability Management Services work toward these goals. Solutions Northwest Inc. includes experts in personal injury, workers’ compensation, and family law vocational assessments. If you need our guidance, our legal experts are ready to guide you through the process.

Contact us today to make an appointment.

Solutions Northwest, Inc. offers comprehensive vocational assessments that determine the true extent of an individual’s physical and cognitive ability to work. Our assessments are as elementary, or complex and detailed, as necessary to address the unique circumstances of any given case. Contact Us to schedule a vocational assessment today.

Subscribe to our blog for more work related tips from Solutions Northwest, Inc., experts available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, WA.

Contact the Vocational Consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Contact our Vocational Consultants

Divorce Law: Why You Need A Vocational Evaluation

Divorce Law: Why You Need A Vocational Evaluation

Divorce Law - Why You Need A Vocational Evaluation
In the United States, the divorce rate of married couples is between 40-50%. When so many people are getting divorced, one must wonder what happens to any children involved. As part of the process, each parent will need to pay child support to aid their children.

That’s when a family law vocational assessment or evaluation is needed. Below we’ll review what it is and why it’s important.

Contact The Family Law ExpertsWhat is a Vocational Assessment in Family Law?

A family law vocational assessment will review how much child support each parent should pay. In some households one parent works and the other watches the children. In these situations, the one working will pay more for child support.

If both parents work, their individual incomes determine how much support they provide.

In some cases, one of the parents will refuse to work, works less, get a lower-paying job, or get themself demoted. They do this so they don’t have to pay as much child support.

At the same time, if one of the parents isn’t working, their employability will need to be evaluated. This will establish whether the child support payments can be divided more equitably.

In either situation, both parents will be assessed on their:

          • Ability to work
          • Opportunity to work
          • Willingness to work

Ability to Work:

The ability to work applies to their educational level, work skills, and employment history. It’ll also review whether they’d need training or further schooling. They may need to refresh or update their skills if they’re re-entering the workforce.

Moreover, it will review any limitations they may have. This applies if they suffer(ed) from an illness or an injury that can prevent them from doing certain types of work.

Opportunity to Work:

Opportunity to work establishes what’s available on the job market. The vocational assessment will review if any jobs in the area are within their skill or educational level.

Moreover, the parents’ past earnings will be reviewed. This will determine their potential earnings for the future. They’ll learn what kinds of positions they may be able to get (if one or both aren’t working).

Willingness to Work:

Willingness to work reviews behavior. This will show if one is actively seeking work, trying to reduce their income, or refusing to work.

If it’s the latter, the court can impute income (force them to pay child support). This will help get them motivated to look for a job and make more money.

Importance of a family law vocational evaluation.

A vocational evaluation is beneficial as it will help each parent pay a fair share of the child support. At the same time, it makes certain that if one parent can’t pay as much child support they aren’t drowning in debt.

Do you need a family law vocational assessment?

Now that you know what a vocational assessment is, you need to figure out if you need it. If you’re getting divorced, it may be wise to consult an expert to help you figure out how much support you need to pay.

Reach out to us today if you have any questions or concerns.

Solutions Northwest, Inc. offers comprehensive vocational assessments that determine the true extent of an individual’s physical and cognitive ability to work. Our assessments are as elementary, or complex and detailed, as necessary to address the unique circumstances of any given case. Contact Us to schedule a vocational assessment today.

Subscribe to our blog for more work related tips from Solutions Northwest, Inc., experts available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, WA.

Contact the Vocational Consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Contact our Vocational Consultants

A Brief Look at Vocational Evaluations

A Brief Look at Vocational Evaluations

A Brief Look at Vocational Evaluations

Contact The Family Law ExpertsThere are countless scenarios that require a vocational evaluation. It’s a common process in family courts deciding alimony. It’s also useful for those with disabilities to explore future job prospects.

It’s not only a legal tool for the courts, but it is also an especially useful tool for any business with an employee in rehabilitation.

To find out more about vocational evaluation and what it entails, check out our guide below.

What is a vocational evaluation?

A vocational evaluation is when professional evaluators and legal experts test an individual in a variety of ways. These tests determine their occupational needs, desires, and opportunities.

Medical or psychological diagnosis is never part of the evaluation. The person being tested also has rights. They may seek a second or third vocational evaluation from another professional. This is necessary if they feel their first one was biased or incorrect.

What generally occurs during a vocational evaluation?

A vocational evaluation is used to determine the true extent of an individual’s physical and cognitive ability to work. A vocational evaluation will be as simple, or complex as needed to address the unique circumstances of any given case.

These elements are appropriately combined to deliver a thorough vocational assessment worthy of legal scrutiny. Evaluations provide a complete picture of how an individual’s knowledge, skills and abilities translate into an ability to obtain and maintain employment.

Vocational Evaluations will often include:

  • Detailed medical file reviews
  • Physician & health care provider consultations
  • Job analysis
  • Vocational interest, work values, ability and intellectual functioning testing
  • Transferable skills assessments
  • Vocational and labor market research
  • Earning capacity analysis
  • Expert & forensic testimony

In conclusion

A vocational evaluation is a valuable tool for a variety of cases. A vocational evaluation can be used to assess the employability of a spouse during a divorce, personal injury earning capacity, and labor market research. Vocational experts are often caused to provide exert witness testimony during court cases.

Reach out to the experts at Solutions Northwest, Inc. today if you have any questions or concerns about vocational evaluations for your company or employee.

Solutions Northwest, Inc. offers comprehensive vocational assessments that determine the true extent of an individual’s physical and cognitive ability to work. Our assessments are as elementary, or complex and detailed, as necessary to address the unique circumstances of any given case. Contact Us to schedule a vocational assessment today.

Subscribe to our blog for more work related tips from Solutions Northwest, Inc., experts available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, WA.

Contact the Vocational Consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:

Multiple Locations

Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Email: Info@solutionsnw.com

Seattle, WA

206-521-5676

Olympia, WA

360-236-8748

Contact our Vocational Consultants

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