Vocational Rehabilitation After A Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Claim

Vocational Rehabilitation After A Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Claim

For a variety of reasons, not all workers’ compensation injuries result in successful workers’ comp claims.  What happens if your worker’s comp claim is denied and you want to return to work, but your injury continues to affect you?  In some cases, you may be eligible for what are called vocational rehabilitation services (VRS).  These services are designed to help you with the return to work if your injury was work-related and your employer can’t offer you suitable employment that meets the work restrictions from your injury.  In fact, you can also apply for VRS if your claim was successful, though the services are primarily targeted at people who have had unsuccessful claims.

The VRS Process

You can request rehabilitative services by writing to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer.  It’s also possible that your employer will be the one to request VRS.

After a request is made, the insurer must arrange for you to meet with a rehabilitation counselor within 15 calendar days of receiving your (or your employer’s) request.  At the meeting with the counselor, he or she will complete an assessment of you to determine whether you are eligible for VRS.  If you are, the counselor will come up with a rehabilitation plan for you.  To help with this, when you meet with the counselor, bring information about your injury, any work restrictions, your work history, and your medical history.

Services provided to you under a rehabilitation plan might include on-the-job training, job development through contact with prospective employers, work on modifying your work environment to make it more suitable for you, job-seeking skills training, and coordination of your medical treatment with your vocational rehabilitative treatment.

What Happens Next?

If you are approved for VRS, after six months, the rehabilitation counselor will file a progress report with your current medical status and current work status.  The report also has to be filed with the Department of Labor and Industry, which may or may not review your rehabilitation plan further.

If at some point during your VRS, a dispute arises about your rehabilitation plan, you can request assistance with resolving the dispute through a form provided by the Department of Labor and Industry.

Who Pays? 

There is no cost to you for VRS unless you agree to bear some or all of the cost through a settlement with your employer.

Chris Rosengren
Rosengren, Kohlmeyer & Hagen Law Office Chtd.
Mankato, Minnesota

Workers' Compensation