In Minnesota, some injured workers have the opportunity to work with a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC). If you are eligible to receive QRC services, take advantage of the opportunity by finding a QRC who doesn’t take shortcuts.
Qualified Rehabilitation Consultants aim to get you back to work – whether at your old job or in a new job that accommodates any medical restrictions you have. You will receive a rehabilitation consultation, a rehabilitation plan, and vocational rehabilitation services from your QRC. During the consultation, the QRC evaluates whether you qualify for rehabilitation services.
If you do qualify, the QRC develops a personalized rehabilitation plan. The plan sets forth a vocational goal and the steps you need to take to reach that goal. The plan also lists any services you will need to reach the goal, such as on-the-job training, retraining, or job placement assistance. After the plan is finalized, the QRC will either provide the needed services or oversee someone who provides them for the worker.
Injured workers have the right to select the QRC who provides vocational rehabilitation. Choosing a helpful, cooperative, and prompt QRC is key to a successful rehabilitation process. Unfortunately, some QRCs are “insurance company friendly”. They try to close files quickly without giving the worker adequate rehab. These QRCs may ask your doctor to reduce your restrictions, ask your doctor to return you to work too early, or downplay your injuries. Returning to work too early with inadequate restrictions can both cause additional injuries and hinder job prospects.
Workers who want to return to work as soon as possible may jump at using a QRC who pushes return to work. Ultimately, however, choosing a QRC who has your best interests in mind will make your recovery and return much smoother. Good QRCs focus on the injured worker’s needs, evaluating any potential injuries and creating a vocational plan that avoids them. These QRCs work with the worker and the doctor to understand restrictions and adapt to them in the workplace. They do not push people to return to work if they are not ready.
While working with a QRC, injured workers need to actively search for a job. If a worker makes little progress towards returning to work, the QRC will change the rehabilitation plan or recommend that QRC services end. Workers who take an active role in their recovery as they receive services from the QRC find the process helpful.
If the insurance company initially selected a QRC, you have only 60 days to accept or reject the choice. Contact knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys who can guide you through the QRC process before the 60 days expire.
Need help choosing the right QRC to guide your vocational rehabilitation? 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.