Hi, I’m Nick Ortiz. I’m a board-certified disability insurance attorney. Today, I’m here to talk to you about the use of vocational consultants, also called vocational experts, in long term disability claims. Lot of people ask themselves, why is the insurance company using a vocational consultant in my case? Isn’t the main issue whether I have a medical disability and I’m medically disabled under the policy? This is a very legitimate question, but here I’m going to explain to you why vocational consultants or experts are very important.Your case goes beyond just the medical evidence in your case. In fact, that’s just one of the pieces of the puzzle. In any given LTD case, you have the medical evidence, you may have medical opinion evidence by your doctors, and then a vocational assessment of those things. So let me break that down for you. When you have medical evidence, that things like x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, other objective medical testing. But the real question is, how do those findings result in limitations and impairments? And that’s where you might get your doctor to write down how they think you’re limited or impaired because of those medical conditions such as difficulty in sitting, standing, walking, bending, stooping, crouching, crawling, those types of limitations.
Now the vocational expert, they come in and they give an assessment as to whether you can do certain jobs given those restrictions that are put on you by your doctor. So you can see why it’s very important. Your CT scan and MRI is not going to give an opinion as to the difficulty in standing and walking. You need the doctor to, what I call, bridge the gap into limitations and then have the vocational expert interpret how those limitations would impact your ability to do work activity. That’s why vocational assessment is so important in any given LTD case.
Finally, you may even retain your own vocational expert to give an opinion as to whether you could do work activity given your individual restrictions. Because the interplay between medical evidence, opinion evidence, and vocational opinions can be so difficult, that’s why we do encourage you to contact an experienced attorney to go over your LTD claim with you. If you’d like to talk to one in our office, we encourage you to give us a call at 850-898-9904.
I’m also making available a free copy of a book that I wrote called “The Top 10 Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Long Term Disability Claim.” You can obtain a free digital copy today at www.freeltdbook.com. Thanks for watching. Look forward to hearing from you.