LOUISIANA WORKERS COMPENSATION LABOR MARKET SURVEYS
A Labor Market Survey
is a letter prepared by a Vocational Rehabilitation
Expert during a Louisiana Workers Compensation claim
that identifies at least one job that the
Vocational Expert indicates is compatible with claimant's current
physical capabilities and skills. The Vocational Expert may
also provide the letter to your doctor and the
insurance company doctor and ask the doctors to provide opinions
about whether you can attempt to perform the jobs.
When you receive this letter, you have at least three options:
- First, you can apply for the job. If you get hired,
your Louisiana Workers Compensation income benefits will
be switched to
Supplemental Earnings Benefits and your Workers
Compensation benefits will be reduced or eliminated
based upon the amount you earn in the new position. If
you do not get hired, the Vocational Expert will provide
you with a second Labor Market Survey. That's usually
where the process ends because the Workers Compensation insurance company is
only required to prove that a job exists. They are not
required to actually help you find job. As the
Louisiana Supreme Court said: "Actual
job placement is not required."
If the Louisiana Workers Compensation insurance company
can prove that a job exists, they have proven your "wage
earning capacity." They may now reduce or eliminate your
benefits based upon the income you might have earned if
you had been hired.
- Secondly, you could not apply for the job. The
Workers Compensation insurance company may now assume
you are able to earn the amount of money that the job
would have paid and reduce or eliminate your benefits
accordingly. As the Louisiana Supreme Court said,
Vocational Rehabilitation can be accomplished "without the cooperation or
participation of the employee. "
- Third, you could take a copy of the Labor Market
Survey to an appointment with your doctor. You and your
doctor can discuss your doctor's point of view about your
current work capabilities and restrictions, and whether
the jobs identified in the Labor Market Survey match those
parameters. But remember, the doctor may have already told the insurance company that it's o.k. for
you to try some of these jobs.
The real question is whether you should ever let your
claim get to this point without having a well thought out
plan in place. Long before this point, you should have begun
to make some decisions about:
- the type of work you believe you're capable of
- whether you need to change careers due to your
injury and, if so, what other types of work you might be
interested in doing.
- whether you need additional medical treatment.
- whether you should try to work out an acceptable
settlement of your claim.
- whether you should apply for Social Security
Disability or other benefits that you may qualify for.
If you don't start figuring out what you're going to do
about your case until after (1) you've done a Functional
Evaluation, (2) the Vocational Expert has compiled a Labor
Market Survey and (3) a doctor has released you to return to
you may find that your options are very limited.
Don't let the insurance company set the agenda for your
life, health and work. Figure out what your options are and
take the initiative.
Next: Louisiana Workers Compensation Settlements