The workers’ compensation insurance company or your self-insured employer pays the cost of a QRC, so they may select a QRC who is less than helpful to you. Qualified Rehabilitation Consultants (QRCs) are supposed to be independent service providers who help you return to work at a similar wage or help you change jobs. Because the employer or insurer often selects the QRC, however, you may get fewer benefits from working with him or her than you expected.
Can You Choose the QRC or Change QRCs?
Injured workers always have the right to choose which QRC they use for vocational rehabilitation services. This is true even if the employer or insurer chooses one first. You may be able to change QRCs even if you have already gone to a rehabilitation consultation.
Usually, you should request a rehabilitation consultation early in your workers’ compensation case, after it becomes clear that you will be off work for more than a few weeks. The insurer is effectively requiredto pay for a consultation if about 3 months pass since the injury and you have not returned to work. After you request the consultation, the insurer may select a QRC without consulting you.
Once you learn that a QRC has been selected, you have 60 days to accept or reject the QRC. You do not have to give any reason for your choice. If you reject the insurer’s QRC, you can select someone else. Speak to a lawyer if you are unsure about which QRC to choose; most will have several QRCs to suggest.
How Can You Benefit from Choosing the QRC Yourself?
There are several ways that you can benefit from choosing a QRC yourself instead of going with the employer or insurer’s choice. For one, you can increase your chances of having an unbiased, objective, and helpful QRC. Your QRC can help you address all problems along the way as you return to work. He or she can prevent you from returning to work too early or waiting too long to start the job search. Your QRC also can interface with your doctor and your employer to find ways to accommodate your medical restrictions.
Need help with selecting a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.