Life Care Plan vs. Vocational Assessment, What Are The Differences?

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We have all been to those parties when someone asks you “so, what do you do?” Like everyone, you have a standard answer to the question: “I’m in marketing,” or “I’m in manufacturing,” or “I’m a sales associate at X company.” Usually, that satisfies the questioner, and you start to talk about other things. 

A. Describing What You Do at Work Is Not As Easy As We Think . . 

While you may be able to give a short answer to the “what do you do” question, have you really been called upon to describe your job with specificity to another person who has no idea what you do? And, we mean really explain what you do on a daily basis – details and all. Probably not. Even if someone, like your significant other, inquired, it might be actually pretty difficult to include all the different things you do in a day on the job.  

Now, think about having to describe nitty-gritty details about your job under oath before a judge or jury. That can be even more difficult. Indeed, there are many things we do, and many systems and pieces of equipment that we understand, without thinking during any given workday. It could take hours to describe all the work duties in which you engage.

Yet, if you are seeking disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), or some other entity, you are asked to do that precise thing – to describe your job duties and the kinds of physical or mental activities required to accomplish that task. 

Moreover, if you have been injured, you are also called upon to describe how your injuries now make it difficult to do the job duties you used to do without thinking. That is where a life care planning firm comes into play.  

In order to support your disability claim, you need to educate the SSA, or an appeal judge, on the details of your job and how they are impacted by your injury. Life care planning firms, like Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS) help you do that. Accordingly, in this blog, we will discuss the difference between a Life Care Plan and a Vocational Assessment as they pertain to your disability claim.

If you have more questions about your own situation after reading this article, then we welcome you to talk to us at Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. (OAS). We are one of the most experienced employability and life care planning firms in the United States. To discuss your case, call us at1-800-292-1919, contact us at a location near you, or through our online form.

B. The Main Difference Between Life Care Plans and Vocational Assessments

Life care plans and vocational assessments are both reports that are meant to support your disability claim before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The main difference between them is the focus of the report.  

A Life Care Plan focuses on, as the title suggests, your life with a disability. It is a look into what things you need to worry about with regard to medical treatment, rehabilitation, and accomplishing simply day-to-day life activities.  

By contrast, a Vocational Assessment focuses on your work. It is a glimpse at what kinds of skills and physical exertion is required for a particular job and then assesses whether you are still able to do that job in your current medical condition.  

Let us take a look a little more deeply at each.

C. Life Care Plans

A Life Care Plan objectively documents damages to a person due to a catastrophic injury. There are seven basic steps to creating a Life Care Plan, as follows:

1. Document review
2. Home visit
3. Life Care Plan interview
4. Impact assessment on daily living activities
5. Objective, detailed assessment of a person’s needs
6. Cost estimates of required items for a person’s life activities
7. An opinion as to the needs of the disabled person

D. Vocational Assessment

In contrast to a Life Care Plan, a vocational assessment is an evaluation of a disabled person’s employability and earning capacity. There are generally five parts to a Vocation Assessment, as follows:

1. Document review
2. Vocational diagnostic interview
3. Work and transferable skills analysis
4. Vocational testing
5. An opinion as to a disabled person’s employability and earning capacity.

It is common to have a Vocational Assessment not only in Social Security disability cases, but also in personal injury, medical malpractice, slip and fall, and workplace accident cases. Given that they have a severe impact on a person’s ability to work, such assessments are done when dealing with lower back injuries, neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and the like.  

In sum, as you can see, Life Care Plans are the result of an analysis of a person’s life activities in light of a medical condition. The Vocational Assessment is, conversely, an analysis of what work activities a person can do in light of a medical condition.   

Let OAS Conduct Life Care Plans and Vocational Assessments in Your Case.    

OAS specializes in working with the plaintiff or defense attorney to assist in objectively documenting the economic damages in a case. From the initial referral to the trial testimony, OAS works with the retaining attorney so that the damages of the case can be objectively and efficiently presented. 

We strongly believe in the importance of a clear and understandable presentation of the facts. OAS is the leading provider of Vocational Expert and Life Care Planning Services for Plaintiff and Defense attorneys. 

The company specializes in assisting attorneys in documenting the damages in cases where an individual has been severely injured by providing objective findings on how the injuries affect a persons’ ability to work and earn money, as well as the cost of care required in catastrophic injuries.

OAS is your Vocational Expert & Life Care Planner Nationwide, with offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Nevada, and California.  

Occupational Assessment Services, Inc. is one of the most experienced employability and life care planning firms in the United States. To discuss your case, call us at 1-800-292-1919, contact us at a location near you, or through our online form.