After a serious work-related injury, you may be coming to the realization that you will never be able to perform your previous job duties. Or maybe you tried to go back to work and discovered the tasks were beyond your abilities. At this point, you do not have to resign yourself to joblessness.
According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, vocational rehabilitation is a workers’ compensation benefit.
You can submit a Rehabilitation Request form to your employer for a consultation with a qualified rehabilitation consultant. Your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance company has 14 days to fill out a Disability Status Report form in response. Your employer/insurer may refer your case directly to the consultant.
If your workers’ compensation claim is under dispute or denial, you can request the consultation from the department directly without waiting for the resolution of your case.
Vocational rehabilitation eligibility
The consultant will meet with you, as well as your employer and your health care provider, with the goal of determining how likely it is that you will be able to work for your employer again. If your employer does not have another suitable job for you, and you cannot do your former job, then the consultant must assess whether you will gain any benefit from the rehabilitation services.
You may file another Rehabilitation Request form with the department if the consultant says you are not eligible and you want to dispute this.
Once you are in the program, you will need to follow the rehabilitation plan. The department assumes that while you are in the program, you will be actively looking for a job.