Vocational rehabilitation aims to get injured employees back in the workforce. It is one of the possible benefits you could receive if you are entitled to workers’ compensation. The term vocational rehabilitation actually refers to a variety of different services and programs all targeted towards return to work.
In Minnesota, vocational rehabilitation services may include:
- On-the-job training
- Job search assistance
- Career counseling
- Resume and job application services
- Vocational evaluation
- Education and retraining
- Job coaching and placement
- Labor market surveying
To determine whether a worker would benefit from vocational rehabilitation, a person called a qualified rehabilitation consultant (QRC) performs a rehabilitation evaluation. During the evaluation, the QRC decides whether the worker is unable to do his usual job because of the injury, if the employer is unable to provide other suitable employment, and if rehabilitation services will benefit the worker. If all three are true, the QRC will recommend vocational rehab.
Next, the QRC compiles a rehabilitation plan that lists (1) the goal of rehabilitation for the worker, and (2) which rehabilitation services the worker will receive, in detail. The employee has the responsibility of cooperating with the QRC and doing his best to complete the rehabilitation plan by the plan completion date.
The employee, employer, or insurance company may request changes to the plan or plan termination for a few reasons: the employee’s inability to physically complete the plan, poor performance by the employee, the employee’s lack of cooperation, the plan will not meet the QRC’s stated objectives, or the employee will not benefit from more vocational rehab.
The employer and insurance company pay for the cost of vocational rehabilitation. Costs include the QRC’s fees, employee’s mileage from travelling to rehabilitation activities, day care needed during the activities, course and vendor fees, and costs of relocation for a new job.
Through vocational rehabilitation, workers are expected to either return to jobs related to their former employment, or return to jobs in another area that produce an economic status very close to their status if they had not suffered workplace injuries.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? 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.