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What is Vocational Rehabilitation?

by Steve Fields | June 19th, 2018

Vocational Rehabilitation a very broad term for the services that are provided to you, which are aimed at returning you to suitable gainful employment, either by returning you to a job related to your previous employment or to another position making as close to what you were making (at the time of your work injury) as possible.

These services range from work hardening so that you can develop strength and tolerance for work, resume’ writing and building to help you apply for new positions, and even retraining so that you can obtain the skills needed for other jobs which will put you in an economic status as close as possible to what you were making prior to your injury.

Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC)

If you are injured at work, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation services. The first step in obtaining vocational rehabilitation services is an initial consult with a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC). If the Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant determines that you are a qualified employee who may benefit from vocational rehabilitation, the rehabilitation consultant may have you undergo some additional testing to evaluate your transferable job skills, vocational interests, and vocational aptitudes.

Additionally, the Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant may also review your prior work history, provide job counseling, and help you with your resume’. This provides the QRC with a guideline as to what positions you already qualify for (based on the knowledge and skill set you already have); what positions you may qualify for (based on your vocational aptitude and interests); and if you have any permanent work restrictions, what positions are available within your restrictions (based upon your functional capacity evaluation).

Benefits of Rehabilitation Services

If you are able to return to work with your date of injury employer, vocational rehabilitation services may include modification of certain job duties to fit your work restrictions. The Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant may also visit your job site to review the job duties you are assigned to do to ensure that the proposed job is within your work restrictions.

If you are unable to return to a position similar to what you were doing at the time of your work injury, your vocational rehabilitation services may also consist of services in which your Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant helps you perform job searches, apply for work, and assist you with the interview process. You may also be eligible for vocational retraining. Generally, “retraining” is an education program in which you are enrolled in a formal course of study. This may range from a very short course at a vocational or technical school or a full course of studies at a college or university.

Get a Work Injury Lawyer and QRC On Your Side

Because rehabilitation services can be very costly, it is not uncommon for the insurance company to deny your workers compensation benefits. Having a Workers Compensation Lawyer and Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant on your side, to help guide you through this process and to help you fight for and obtain these vocational rehabilitation services, can get you back on track to returning to gainful employment.

Client Success Story
A pipe fitter suffered a serious injury to his shoulder, which rendered him unable to perform his normal work because of permanent work restrictions. After Vocational Rehabilitation job placement services were not able to produce a similar level of income with the client’s permanent work restrictions, the client wanted to pursue vocational retraining as a long-term option to return him to the quality of life he had known before his injury.

Working with one of our trusted QRC’s, our client sought approval of a 4-year vocational retraining program to obtain an engineering degree. The Worker’s insurance company fought against the approval of the client’s retraining program. After having the career retraining plan formally approved by an arbitrator at the Department of Labor and Industry, the insurance company agreed to settle with our client in the amount of $170,000 to cover the costs of his education as well as lost wages during the education program.

The Workers Compensation system is designed to help injured employees recover from their work injury and return to gainful employment; vocational rehabilitation is an important part of your recovery process. It’s important to keep in mind, the main objective of vocational rehabilitation is to help you return to work so it is essential to find the right Work Comp QRC for your situation.

If you were hurt at work, the work injury lawyers at Fields Law Firm would be happy to discuss your options, including vocational rehabilitation benefits. Call us today at 1-888-343-5375 or fill out a free case review request form.