What Is Vocational Rehab on Workers Compensation?

What Is Vocational Rehab on Workers Compensation_ image

Thousands of Minnesota residents suffer injuries at work every year, and many of them can’t return to their pre-injury jobs. For these injured workers, vocational rehabilitation services can help them find new jobs. But what is vocational rehab, exactly?

That’s the question we’re here to answer. Robert Wilson & Associates has over 30 years of experience with Minnesota workers’ compensation cases, and we can explain your potential benefits to you.

Vocational Rehab Benefits in Minnesota Workers’ Comp Cases

Vocational rehabilitation benefits help injured Minnesota workers find work when their injuries keep them from resuming their pre-injury careers. If you can’t return to your old job due to your work-related injuries, you might qualify for these benefits.

The purpose of vocational rehab benefits is to assist you in finding a new job that fits your abilities and pays a suitable wage. You could get help with job searches, training, or education to learn new skills. According to the state-provided Employee’s Guide to the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation System, you must request a consultation with a qualified rehabilitation consultant (QRC) to obtain these benefits. You’ll meet with the QRC, who will assess your situation and create a plan to help you re-enter the workforce​ if you qualify for benefits.

What Does Vocational Rehabilitation Pay For?

Vocational rehabilitation benefits in Minnesota cover various services to help injured workers get back to work. These benefits include:

  • Counseling
  • Vocational evaluation
  • Job analysis
  • Transferrable skills analysis
  • Job modification
  • Job development
  • Job search assistance
  • Job testing
  • Job placement
  • Labor market survey
  • On-the-job training
  • Job search skills training

If you need new skills to return to work, vocational rehab can pay for retraining or education programs. Retraining benefits are limited to 156 weeks.

A qualified vocational rehabilitation counselor and rehabilitation consultant (QRC) will create a plan tailored to your needs. This plan might cover resume writing, interview preparation, and job coaching. The goal is to find a suitable job that matches your abilities.

In some cases, vocational rehab benefits can also cover the costs related to job search activities, such as travel expenses for job interviews. These services aim to make the transition back to work as smooth as possible, helping to ensure that you can support yourself and your family after an injury.

Who Qualifies for Vocational Rehab in Minnesota?

What Is Vocational Rehab on Workers Compensation_ image 2The Minnesota government says all employers must either purchase workers’ comp insurance for their employees or obtain permission from the Department of Commerce not to purchase workers’ compensation insurance after proving they can self-insure their workforce. That means aside from independent contractors and a handful of limited exceptions, most employees (including part-time workers) qualify for workers’ comp coverage from their first day on the job.

However, workers’ comp only covers injuries that arise out of or happen during an employee’s job-related duties. For example, injuries during a worker’s commute to or from their job would not qualify for workers’ comp benefits. However, an employee injured while driving for their job or while running a work-related errand might qualify for benefits.

An injured worker must meet additional requirements to obtain vocational rehab benefits. The injured worker must be:

  • Permanently unable to perform the activities of their usual and customary occupation and
  • Unable to return to suitable gainful employment with their pre-injury employer and
  • Able to return to suitable gainful employment through vocational rehabilitation services.

How We Can Help You Obtain Vocational Rehab Benefits

We know how challenging the workers’ compensation system can be. Our team is here to help you. From the moment you contact us, we will work closely with you to understand your situation and handle the claims process for you.

First, we will file your initial workers’ compensation claim. We’ll ascertain that all the necessary documentation is complete and accurate. Once your treatment is concluded, if you are unable to return to your job, we’ll request a hearing with a QRC.

If your employer approves your claim for voc rehab, we will help you complete the plan devised by the QRC.

If your employer denies your claim, don’t worry. We will represent you in the appeals process and fight to get the benefits you deserve. Our experienced attorneys will gather evidence, prepare legal arguments, and advocate on your behalf in hearings and negotiations.

With Robert Wilson & Associates by your side, you can focus on your vocational rehabilitation workers’ compensation recovery while we handle the legal details. Let our Minnesota personal injury attorneys help you return to work and secure the benefits you need to move forward. Call (612) 334-3444 today or complete our contact form for a confidential consultation.

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