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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 doing.
  • 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 work, 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






David Buie, Louisiana Workers Compensation Attorney and Social Security Disability Attorney, 650 Poydras Street, Suite 1400, New Orleans, LA 70131, (800) 851-9405 / Fax: (866) 702-5297 Representing claimants in:
Alexandria Baton Rouge Bossier City Covington Gretna
Hammond Harahan Harvey Houma Kenner Lafayette Lake Charles
Laplace Marrero Metairie Monroe New Iberia New Orleans
Opelousas Ruston Shreveport Slidell Terrytown

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