Vocational Rehabilitation Services
At Select Case Management Services, we realize that there are times when workers are not able to return to their previous job and the restrictions are such that they cannot be reasonably accommodated at the current employer. In these cases Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) are needed to return the injured employee back to work.
Vocational Rehabilitation is best provided as soon as it becomes apparent that an injured worker will not be able to return to his/her previous employment. This service, implemented early in the case, will provide for the best possible outcome and avoid the case turning to a focus on deficits and to one with a future focus and one oriented to ability and maximizing potential. As noted above, "Timely access to appropriate medical treatment and vocational rehabilitation is a critical part of the return-to-work process. It enables the person's quick recovery, maximum functional ability and mobility, and return to work in a position that maximizes their skills and experience." "It is necessary to shift from a primary focus on deficits and incapacity towards an ability-oriented approach."
VRS provided in accordance with Section 7110.10 Vocational Rehabilitation of the IWC Act (in 120 days of total disability or when it is likely that the injured worker will not return to his job at the time of injury) is essential to avoiding negative outcomes from prolonged disability to failure to return to work in any capacity to large wage differential settlements.
Vocational rehabilitation determines the need for services based on the National Tea v. IIC decision and principles of the Rehabilitation profession. Services are determined by the timeframes for rehabilitation, types of surgeries, possible medical treatment outcomes, need for transferable skills development and ultimately the physical restrictions at maximum medical improvement (MMI).
The VRS process may include: assessment and appraisal of the current residual capabilities and interests of the worker.
- Transferable Skills Analysis: Determines the worker's skills within residual functional ability.
- Re-training: The counselor will determine the need for skills development in the absence of sufficient residual skills. In this case retraining may be required. This can include On the Job Training, Supplemental Educational Programs, Skills Acquisition/Short-Term Training and Long-Term Training and education. This could be accomplished while the employee is in treatment - therefore the need for early intervention, so the injured worker is prepared to return to work at an alternate job at the completion of his/her treatment is paramount to minimizing cost as well as maintaining a positive outlook and focus on ability.
- Direct Job Placement: In most cases, employees do indeed have the requisite skills to find work without the assistance of a formal training program. In these cases, Direct Placement Services are appropriate. SCMS provides a program that meets the diligent effort requirements under the Workers' Compensation Act. This process is warranted based on available or developed transferable skills that fall within residual functioning. The Direct Placement Program consists of the Job Readiness Training, which includes Job Search Assistance, Resume and Job Application Services, Interview Coaching and ADA Reasonable Accommodation Assistance, etc. The employee is prepared to look for work in about 1 month's time. The placement process follows this portion of the program. The portion consists of (at minimum) weekly meetings where job leads are exchanged and the injured worker is expected to pursue 20 per week. Placement last no more that 120 days, typically.
Submit your case file to Select Case Management Services today. Within 24 hours, you will be contacted by one of our experienced Case Managers. We will confirm that we have received your file, assess the situation and provide recommendations on appropriate next steps for you and your employee.