Established in 1989, AREA has pursued two missions: bringing recognition to the combined use of vocational rehabilitation and economic loss assessment as a distinct discipline, and providing a peer-exchange forum for vocational, economic and rehabilitation experts who practice within this growing field.
AREA supports professional growth by offering opportunities for continuing education and university credit at its Annual Spring Conference. AREA also participates in conference sessions held with other vocational, economic and rehabilitation organizations to encourage the sharing of knowledge among related forensic professionals.
Currently, AREA is the only international certifying body that has the unique blend of professions in loss assessment. Additionally, it is the first to establish a Registry of both Forensic Vocational and Forensic Economic Experts.
What We Do
As forensic experts, AREA members offer opinion and testimony in a wide variety of cases. Often they involve some type of injury, which has resulted in an alleged loss of earnings or loss of earning capacity.
Our role is to determine the nature and extent of any loss, from a vocational and/or economic perspective. This, in turn, helps the Court in its assessment of damages.
Economic and vocational experts identify what the person could have earned prior to the incident, compared to what they are likely to earn following the incident. Economic experts calculate the value of those earnings over time, so the difference, if any, between the two income streams is clearly understood. Those who act as vocational/economic experts blend the two disciplines, and offer testimony in both arenas.
Personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, wrongful death, wrongful termination, and discrimination in employment form the bulk of the cases evaluated for vocational and economic loss by AREA members. Life care planning, marital dissolution, Social Security disability, maritime, railroad, ADA, and workers compensation casework are additional member specialties.
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AREA members generally hold at least a Masters degree in a vocational, economic or related field (not required for Associate membership or Student membership). The majority of members have several national certifications and/or state licenses in their specialization. Most are active in other forensic organizations, and many have published or taught in vocational/economic fields.
Professional members have provided copies of their highest academic degree (the minimum requirement being a Masters degree), a listing of their related licenses and certifications, an updated Curriculum Vitae, and detailed information (within their CV or in a separate Rule 26 listing) of at least 3 years of professional service in providing assessment and testimony in vocational rehabilitation, forensic vocational and/or forensic economic areas of expertise.
Certified members are Professional members who have successfully completed AREA’s certification exam which consists of a case analysis. Additionally, they have submitted an official transcript from the college/university where they received their highest degree; a copy of lesser degree(s) earned; three letters of recommendation from attorneys or judges; two forensic work products used at trial (including one deposition transcript demonstrating wage loss proficiency and present value calculations); and proof of at least one vocational certification if they are not an economic or financial consultant.
Members certified prior to 8/1/94 are listed as CREs, signifying their Certification in Rehabilitation Economics. Those certified after 8/1/94 are listed as CEAs, or Certified Earnings Analysts. Some members certified prior to 1994 have obtained the CEA designation by taking a supplementary exam, as well as meeting all of the above criteria.
Registered members are Professional members who have testified at least twice in a judicial proceeding related to disability matters in either Social Security, Worker’s Compensation, Municipal, Superior or Federal Court. They have also submitted two letters of reference from attorneys or judges asserting competency of testimony; official transcripts of their related degree(s); two work products; and at least one vocational certification if they are not an economic or financial consultant.
Members in this classification are listed as either Registered Forensic Economists (RFEs) or Forensic Vocational Experts (FVEs), depending upon their primary area of specialization.
Associate members have provided copies of their highest academic degree(s), related licenses/certifications, and curriculum vitae, documenting any professional experience related to vocational rehabilitation, forensic vocational and/or economic assessment and testimony.
Student members have provided copies of their highest academic degree(s), related licenses/certifications, DATED proof of their current student enrollment (i.e., photo I.D., letter from a professor, copy of their transcripts), and a curriculum vitae, documenting any professional experience related to vocational rehabilitation, forensic vocational and/or economic assessment and testimony.
NOTE: Membership status is subject to Annual Renewal, including a signed Statement of Adherence to Ethical Principles. The Statement pledges that the Member will accept appropriate consulting assignments, provide truthful statements, be impartial and maintain current knowledge of his/her field when making evaluations and offering testimony associated with forensic litigation.
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