If you have the opportunity to work with a qualified rehabilitation consultant, you should learn about what to expect. The QRC process has some important pros and cons in Minnesota.
Pro: The QRC Can Help You Get Back to Work
When you receive vocational rehabilitation services from a qualified rehabilitation consultant (QRC), his or her job is to help you return to work – usually at a new position for your employer or another employer. You may need job counseling, a skills evaluation, job search services, help identifying jobs or industries, or even retraining and education. The right QRC can be extremely helpful for injured workers who cannot return to their old jobs and need assistance finding new ones.
Con: The Insurance Company Picks QRCs on Its Side
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation insurance companies take every opportunity to choose favorable QRCs. These QRCs may say that people are able to return to work when in reality it is too early, they may not find the best jobs for injured workers, or they may terminate rehabilitation plans prematurely. All of these steps benefit the insurance companies by saving them money on wage loss benefits and treatment.
Pro: You Have the Right to Pick Your Own QRC
Under Minnesota law, injured workers can choose their own QRCs – as long as they do so within a short time. If the insurance company has already chosen someone, then you have 60 days to pick someone else instead. To find out how to choose your own QRC, talk to a Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer.
Con: Your Benefits Could End If You Struggle to Complete Your Plan
Choosing your own QRC can help you find a supportive person who creates an achievable rehabilitation plan. But some injured workers still struggle to complete their plans due to their injuries or other factors. If you are not meeting the goals set in your plan, your QRC could decide to end the plan – meaning your vocational rehabilitation benefits end too. Make sure you discuss plan progress with your QRC early and often so that the plan can be modified if you have difficulty meeting goals due to your injuries.
Need help working with a Minnesota QRC? 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.