Subchapter C. QUALIFICATIONS FOR VOCATIONAL EXPERTS APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT


Sec.


123.201.    Purpose.
123.201a.    [Reserved].
123.201b.    Definitions.
123.202.    Qualifications for current vocational experts under Act 57 of 1996.
123.202a.    Qualifications for vocational experts under Act 53 of 2003.
123.203.    Role of workers’ compensation judges.
123.204.    Conduct of vocational experts.
123.205.    Financial interest disclosure.

§ 123.201. Purpose.

 This subchapter implements and interprets provisions of the act which permit the Department to establish qualifications for vocational experts who will conduct earning power assessment interviews under sections 306(b) and 449 of the act (77 P. S. § §  512 and 1000.5). This subchapter also implements the act’s requirements for compliance with the Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors pertaining to the conduct of expert witnesses and disclosure of financial interest.

Source

   The provisions of this §  123.201 adopted January 16, 1998, effective January 17, 1998, 28 Pa.B. 329; amended June 22, 2007, effective June 23, 2007, 37 Pa.B. 2804. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (309340) to (309341).

§ 123.201a. [Reserved].


Source

   The provisions of this §  123.201a adopted March 26, 2004, effective March 27, 2004, 33 Pa.B. 1684; reserved June 22, 2007, effective June 23, 2007, 37 Pa.B. 2804. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (309341).

§ 123.201b. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Financial interest—An interest equated with money or its equivalent, and includes any of the following:

     (i)   A present or former ownership interest in or with the entity or individual conducting the earning power assessment interview.

     (ii)   A present or former employment relationship with the entity or individual conducting the earning power assessment interview.

     (iii)   A contractual or referral arrangement that would require or allow the insurer to provide compensation or other consideration based upon the vocational expert’s opinion or the outcome of the vocational expert’s earning power assessment interview.

   Insurer—An insurer is any of the following:

     (i)   A workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

     (ii)   The State Workers’ Insurance Fund of the Department.

     (iii)   An employer authorized by the Department to self-insure its workers’ compensation liability under section 305 of the act (77 P. S. §  501).

     (iv)   A group of employers authorized by the Department to act as a self-insurance fund under section 802 of the act (77 P. S. §  1036.2).

Source

   The provisions of this §  123.201b adopted June 22, 2007, effective June 23, 2007, 37 Pa.B. 2804.

§ 123.202. Qualifications for current vocational experts under Act 57 of 1996.

 (a)  This section applies to individuals who, before June 23, 2007, conducted earning power assessment interviews under section 306(b) of the act (77 P. S. §  512). These individuals continue to meet the minimum qualifications established under section 306(b) if they possess one of the following:

   (1)  Both of the following:

     (i)   Certification by one of the following Nationally recognized professional organizations:

       (A)   The American Board of Vocational Experts.

       (B)   The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.

       (C)   The Commission on Disability Management Specialists Certification.

       (D)   The National Board of Certified Counselors.

       (E)   Other Nationally recognized professional organizations, published by the Department in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

     (ii)   One year experience in analyzing labor market information and conditions, industrial and occupational trends, with primary duties providing actual vocational rehabilitation services, which include the following:

       (A)   Job seeking skills.

       (B)   Job development.

       (C)   Job analysis.

       (D)   Career exploration.

       (E)   Placement of individuals with disabilities.

       (F)   Vocational testing and assessment.

   (2)  Certification by a Nationally recognized professional organization specified in paragraph (1)(i) under the direct supervision of an individual possessing the criteria in paragraph (1).

   (3)  Possession of a Bachelor’s degree or a valid license issued by the Department of State’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, as long as the individual is under the direct supervision of an individual possessing the criteria in paragraph (1).

   (4)  At least 5 years experience primarily in the workers’ compensation field prior to August 23, 1996, as a vocational evaluator, with experience in analyzing labor market information and conditions, industrial and occupational trends, with primary duties providing actual vocational rehabilitation services, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

     (i)   Job seeking skills.

     (ii)   Job development.

     (iii)   Job analysis.

     (iv)   Career exploration.

     (v)   Placement of individuals with disabilities.

 (b)  Individuals meeting the minimum qualifications under subsection (a) are approved to conduct earning power assessment interviews under section 449 of the act (77 P. S. §  1000.5).

Source

   The provisions of this §  123.202 adopted January 16, 1998, effective January 17, 1998, 28 Pa.B. 329; amended July 13, 2001, effective July 14, 2001, 31 Pa.B. 3841; amended June 22, 2007, effective June 23, 2007, 37 Pa.B. 2804. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (309341) to (309342).

Cross References

   This section cited in 34 Pa. Code §  123.203 (relating to role of workers’ compensation judges).

§ 123.202a. Qualifications for vocational experts under Act 53 of 2003.

 (a)  This section applies to individuals who, before June 23, 2007, have not conducted earning power assessment interviews under section 306(b) of the act (77 P. S. §  512). These individuals meet the minimum qualifications established under section 306(b) if they possess both:

   (1)  Certification by one of the following Nationally recognized professional organizations:

     (i)   The American Board of Vocational Experts.

     (ii)   The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.

     (iii)   The Commission on Disability Management Specialists Certification.

     (iv)   Other Nationally recognized professional organizations, published by the Department in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

   (2)  A bachelor’s or postgraduate degree in rehabilitation counseling or a related counseling field.

 (b)  Individuals meeting the minimum qualifications under subsection (a) are approved to conduct earning power assessment interviews under section 449 of the act (77 P. S. §  1000.5).

Source

   The provisions of this §  123.202a adopted June 22, 2007, effective June 23, 2007, 37 Pa.B. 2804.

Cross References

   This section cited in 34 Pa. Code §  123.203 (relating to role of workers’ compensation judges).

§ 123.203. Role of workers’ compensation judges.

 (a)  A workers’ compensation judge will resolve disputes regarding whether a vocational expert meets the minimum qualifications established in § §  123.202 and 123.202a (relating to qualifications for current vocational experts under Act 57 of 1996; and qualifications for vocational experts under Act 53 of 2003).

 (b)  Except as set forth in subsection (c), this subchapter does not limit a workers’ compensation judge’s authority to determine a vocational expert’s qualifications under § §  123.202 and 123.202a or a vocational expert’s bias or objectivity.

 (c)  A workers’ compensation judge may not consider the results of an earning power assessment interview if the workers’ compensation judge finds that the vocational expert has not complied with §  123.204 (relating to conduct of vocational experts) or that the insurer has not complied with §  123.205 (relating to financial interest disclosure).

Source

   The provisions of this §  123.203 adopted January 16, 1998, effective January 17, 1998, 28 Pa.B. 329; amended June 22, 2007, effective June 23, 2007, 37 Pa.B. 2804. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (309342).

§ 123.204. Conduct of vocational experts.

 (a)  Before conducting an earning power assessment interview, the vocational expert shall disclose to the employee, in writing, the role and limits of the vocational expert’s relationship with the employee.

 (b)  A vocational expert who conducts an earning power assessment interview shall generate a written initial report detailing the expert’s involvement in the litigation and conclusions from the interview. The initial report need not contain the results or conclusions of any surveys or tests. The vocational expert shall serve a copy of the initial report on the employee and counsel, if known, within 30 days of the date of the interview.

 (c)  A vocational expert who authors additional written reports, including earning power assessments or labor market surveys, shall simultaneously serve copies of these written reports upon the employee and counsel, if known, when the expert provides the written reports to the insurer or its counsel.

 (d)  A vocational expert who satisfies the requirements of this section complies with the Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors pertaining to the conduct of expert witnesses for purposes of section 306(b)(2) of the act (77 P. S. §  512(2)).

Source

   The provisions of this §  123.204 adopted June 22, 2007, effective June 23, 2007, 37 Pa.B. 2804.

Cross References

   This section cited in 34 Pa. Code §  123.203 (relating to role of workers’ compensation judges).

§ 123.205. Financial interest disclosure.

 (a)  For the purposes of this section, a third-party administrator or another entity that performs services on behalf of an insurer, as specified in section 441(c) of the act (77 P. S. §  997(c)), is an insurer.

 (b)  Before an insurer refers an employee for an earning power assessment interview, the insurer shall disclose to the employee, in writing, any financial interest the insurer has with the person or entity conducting the earning power assessment interview.

Source

   The provisions of this §  123.205 adopted June 22, 2007, effective June 23, 2007, 37 Pa.B. 2804.

Cross References

   This section cited in 34 Pa. Code §  123.203 (relating to role of workers’ compensation judges).



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