In Pennsylvania (PA) workers’ compensation, a labor market survey is a detailed assessment of the labor force in your area. The survey may list the potentially available jobs to you, and all the work that you could, in theory, do.
Labor market surveys are a tool used to reduce your weekly benefit amount to 66% of the difference between your time of injury average weekly wage and the earning capacity the hired vocational person opines you can earn. The vocational expert is supposed to complete a survey of open and available employment positions in your geographic region that fit your vocational abilities, age, education, residual productive abilities and medical limitations (as determined to exist by the Judge at a later point in time). They also require an interview with you as part of this assessment. For many reason, this interview should always take place at your attorney’s office! This information is then compiled into a labor market survey, which is provided to the workers’ compensation attorney to file a petition to stop or reduce your benefits.
Before conducting a labor market survey, the insurer will send you a Notice of Ability to Return to Work, which lists the physician who released you to return to work, the extent of the release and the physician’s medical reasons for issuing the release
The problem with labor market surveys is that they are theoretical and do not reflect your real life situation. The surveys, however, fail to take into account whether or not you have done this type of work before or whether the jobs suggested are really available or whether they are willing to hire you. This is especially devastating to workers in a recession economy, when few employers are hiring.
While recent decisions by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court have made it much easier for employers to prove your earning potential and successfully decrease your workers’ compensation benefits, this does not mean that the petition to modify your benefits will be successful. There are many short cuts and mistakes made and there are many defenses to such a petition. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate these difficult and tricky waters, ensuring that the labor market survey does not decrease your weekly benefits.
The law firm of Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C., represents injured workers and those seeking Social Security Disability throughout Pennsylvania, including but not limited to, Altoona, Harrisburg, Pottsville, Allentown, Reading, Bloomsburg, Easton, Bethlehem, Norristown, Bristol, Williamsport, State College, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Lancaster, Waynesboro, York and all cities in Bucks County, Chester County, Columbia County, Dauphin County, Delaware County, Lackawanna County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Lycoming County, Montgomery County, Monroe County, Montour County, Northampton County, Northumberland County, Philadelphia County, Pike County, Schuylkill County, Wyoming County and York County, PA. Our offices are located at 2411 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA and 14 North Main Street, Suite 300, Chambersburg, PA, and we can arrange for meeting locations at law offices throughout the State.
Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C.
2411 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
14 North Main Street
Chambersburg, PA 17201