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We provide expert witness and consulting services to address the vocational and earning capacity impacts on an individual from an injury. We are qualified and experienced to provide expert opinions for Workers' Compensation, Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death, Pediatric, and Federal cases across the United States. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss how we may be of service with your case!
Vocational Evaluations are performed to determine an individual’s capabilities in returning to employment following an injury or sustaining a disability. We focus on the individual’s diagnoses, medical treatment, recovery, and objective medical evidence to develop a plan to assist the individual in moving towards a new career within their restrictions.
Vocational Evaluations focus on the socioeconomic and objective medical evidence for each individual. Each vocational evaluation presents transferable skills the individual possesses to ascertain what occupations within their local economy they can perform within their restrictions. Vocational testing is conducted to ascertain intellectual and academic abilities as well as occupational interests. Recommendations are made which will assist the individual in returning to employment either through Job Placement Assistance or vocational retraining.
Loss of earning potential can be considered, upon request.
An Ergonomic Analysis is utilized to ensure that an employee’s workstation is designed to minimize the risk of injury to the employee and maximize productivity for the employer. The analysis involves reviewing the individual’s job tasks and performance of these tasks focusing on body mechanics, positioning, and use of equipment to perform tasks.
Recommendations are made to highlight areas that may benefit from improvement or changes to improve safety and/or maximize productivity.
Earning Capacity Analysis
An earning capacity analysis focuses on determining what, if any, economic loss has been sustained by an individual following their injury. The analysis focuses on understanding the occupational prospects of an individual, through their date of full retirement, that are within their restrictions, utilizing transferable skills, and in their local economy. An analysis of the individual’s pre-injury wages, compared to their future earning potential, is outlined.
Recommendations are made to assist with mitigating loss of earnings, such as completing a retraining program, if necessary.
Labor Market Survey
Labor Market Surveys are used to identify the types of employment opportunities that are available for an individual within their local economy. The Survey Report focuses on outlining the occupations, employers, and wages that would be appropriate for the individual to consider.
The Survey Report outlines:
A summary of all contacts which will include the company contacted, information obtained during the conversation, and date of contact.
The positions which were noted as being at the company which were within the individual’s restrictions, wages for each position, and position qualifications.
It will be noted if the positions would be appropriate for the specific individual based on their restrictions, skills, and qualifications.
The date of the last hire for the positions surveyed. If a position is currently available, application instructions will be obtained and provided.
A professional opinion as to if the information obtained in the survey is positive or negative for the individual as to if there are sufficient job opportunities that could lead to gainful employment within the individual’s area of residence.
Recommendations will be made based on the results of the survey outlining services available to assist the individual in returning to employment. Recommendations could include Job Placement Assistance or vocational retraining and would be dependent upon the results of the study.
Job Placement Assistance
Job Placement Assistance focuses on assisting individuals in returning to employment within the restrictions issued by their treating physician, utilizing transferable skills, and in their local economy. This is consistent with the rehabilitation placement hierarchy in which the primary goals are to return client to work at the same job, a modified job, or a job utilizing transferable skills.
Throughout the Job Placement Assistance process, we seek out job leads with local employers for which the individual would be qualified and provide this information to the job seeker. We will meet with the job seeker periodically throughout their services to discuss the process of their job search, address any concerns which may arise, provide feedback, assist with application completion, or prepare for interviews. During services a résumé is developed highlighting the individual’s skills. Interviewing preparations and mock interviews are held. In addition, we request that individuals seek their own leads. All job seekers are asked to submit documentation of their job search activity which is followed up on with prospective employers. Overall, our responsibility is to advocate on the job seekers behalf in locating appropriate employment.
Once employment is obtained, we maintain contact with the individual and their employer to ensure that they can safely perform all job duties.
If needed, an ergonomic analysis will be performed.
Light Duty Consultation
Following an occupational injury, it is common for the injured worker to be issued temporary restrictions during their medical treatment that may limit their physical activity. Many employers want their employees to continue working, and the injured worker wants to continue working, during this period when light duty restrictions are issued. We understand that it can be complicated to determine what opportunities exist for the injured worker within their restrictions and utilizing their skills. In the process of a light duty consultation, we review the injured worker’s job description, observe job tasks as they are performed, determine their transferable skills, and review alternate positions within the company. We make recommendations as to how to accommodate their current position or what alternate positions could be filled by them with minimal on-the-job training, to ensure their safety while on light duty.
In addition, we can liaison with the medical treatment team and parties to provide feedback from the employer and injured worker regarding their ability to perform tasks within the restrictions issued.
Studies show that after a 6-month absence from the workforce, there is only a 50% chance that an injured worker will return to the workforce in any capacity. After one year out of the workforce, the return to work rate drops to 25%.
Early return to work intervention allows the injured worker to stay connected to co-workers, maintain condition to the regular work schedule, and maintain self-esteem. Each of these are essential in ensuring retention in the workforce.
Vocational Case Management
Vocational Case Management services are available to assist individuals during their participation in a vocational retraining program. It is not uncommon for individual’s that are authorized for a vocational retraining program to have been out of school for an extended period of time and/or to have not had the best prior educational experiences. By having a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor assigned to assist the individual to provide support and direction, this support greatly enhances the student’s opportunity for success in their program.
Vocational Case Management focuses on allowing one individual to act as a liaison between the student, instructor, Court, attorneys, and insurance company. Vocational Case Management specifically focuses on assisting the individual in understanding their exact authorization for services, assist with completion of enrollment procedures, ensure that tuition invoicing is sent directly to the appropriate party, verify the individual’s start date, develop a plan of study with client’s instructors, ensure completion of academic remediation and pre-requisite courses when necessary, develop a 504 accommodation plan, monitor the individual’s progress and attendance towards successful completion of their educational program, assist with resolution of any problems which arise during their retraining, and provide monthly reports to the parties documenting progress.
Job Description Development
Job descriptions can be vital for an employer in the recruitment and selection process, establishing expectations for employees, having groundwork for employee evaluations, and training purposes.
Job descriptions can be developed to assist with defining an employee’s job tasks and responsibilities as well as outlining the physical requirements for a position, the tools used, and qualifications needed to perform the job tasks.
Meet the Team
Kelsea Mills, MRC, CRC, CVE, CEAS I
Kelsea is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Vocational Evaluator, and Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist with over 14 years of experience in providing vocational evaluations, earning capacity analysis, and developing rehabilitation plans in a litigated setting. In addition to being Vocational Consulting for Oklahoma’s founder, she is also very active in the Vocational Evaluation community including acting as the current President-Elect for the Vocational Evaluators and Career Assessment Professionals (VECAP) Association.
As an Expert Witness, she strives to ensure that fair and objective opinions are provided to help determine the extent of employment impact an injury has caused.
In her Workers' Compensation Practice, Kelsea strives to help injured workers develop a plan to return to employment within their restrictions by determining their aptitudes and interests thus being able to develop an appropriate and comprehensive rehabilitation plan. She works closely with individuals participating in educational or Job Placement programs, focusing on ensuring their success. Each year, Kelsea helps dozens of individuals successfully complete educational programs and/or return to employment. She has a passion for helping her clients rebuild their careers when they thought they were out of options.
Kelsea is also certified as an Ergonomic Assessment Specialist, a qualification which is invaluable for ensuring that her client’s educational and work settings are both safe for them and promote productivity.
Kelsea is an Oklahoma native and graduated from OU in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She furthered her studies at Langston University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling with an emphasis in Disability Management Studies in 2010.
Kelsea enjoys entertaining, cooking, gardening, and being with family and friends. During OU football season you can find Kelsea hosting a watch party nearly every Saturday. Don’t fret OSU fans, she only roots against you for one game each season. Kelsea and her husband, Andrew, have been married since 2010 and have two sons. She loves all outdoor activities and loves to teach her boys the wonders that outside can bring.
Rachel Peden is our all-around go-to girl! She assists Kelsea with all Vocational Case Management and Administrative tasks. Rachel works closely with Kelsea to ensure that all individuals participating in vocational retraining programs are set up for success, are proceeding through their program towards successful completion, and that all parties are informed of the individual’s progress. Rachel is a current student herself and fully understands what it is like to return to school as an adult. This gives her an amazing level of empathy that is essential in working with our clients.
For those individuals utilizing our Job Placement services, she assists in researching available positions, assisting job seekers in completing applications, and interview preparations. She also works with employers in the job seekers local economy to advocate on behalf of our clients.
Rachel is a long-time Normanite, mom of two boys, is an avid coffee drinker, and hates all things caramel! Rachel loves to read and will read anything you would like to recommend! Her favorite literary topic is historical non-fiction, but she cannot turn down a good mystery romance.
When you call the office, you are likely to get the opportunity to speak with her. She will be happy to assist you in answering any questions you have.
If you are enrolled in a Vocational Rehabilitation or Vocational Evaluation program (Bachelor's or Master's Degree level) we are always looking to add interns to our team! If you are interested, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your interest and we will reach out to further discuss opportunities!
Monday-Thursday: 9am - 4pm
Friday: 9am - 12pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed
(405) 252-1129 (phone)
(405) 578-4084 (fax)
P.O. Box 8
Norman, OK 73070
Appointments are also available at alternate locations per request.
In the Lindsey Square Office Complex
1818 West Lindsey Street
Building C Suite 240
Norman, OK 73069
In the 3000 Center
3015 East Skelly Drive
Tulsa, OK 74105