Vocational Disability Rating

Last Updated: September 16, 2018

Definition - What does Vocational Disability Rating mean?

A vocational disability rating is a numeric value representing an assessment of the impact an injury or disability has on an individual's ability to perform work-related tasks. This number is usually expressed as a percentage and may be used by vocational and rehabilitation specialists to communicate an individual's level of vocational impairment.

A vocational disability rating differs from an overall disability rating which assesses the individual's impairment as it relates to daily living activities. Vocational disabilities are those that impact an individual's employability and earnings capacity. An individual's level of vocational disability is often a considered when determining whether, and in what amount, he or she will receive workers' compensation or other benefits.

WorkplaceTesting explains Vocational Disability Rating

Vocational disability ratings are used by members of the medical community, vocational experts and rehabilitation therapists. The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) also uses vocational disability ratings to assist in determining an individual's eligibility for certain disability-related benefits.

When determining a vocational disability rating, a medical professional evaluate the person's abilities based on their long-term condition. Thus, a condition that is likely to improve over time, such as a broken limb without complications or an acute illness, is not considered when evaluating an individual's vocational disability rating. The SSA maintains an impairment listing manual that can be used as a reference when calculating a vocational disability rating.

In addition, the calculation of an individual's vocational disability rating may take into consideration that individual's age, education, skills and training as these may all affect his or her ability to adjust to different employment settings. Each of the factors used to assess a person's vocational disability rating is referred to as a vocational factor.

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