Minnesota law has provisions allowing qualified workers to take advantage of vocational rehabilitation or retraining benefits if they meet specific conditions. These benefits aid workers who cannot return to their jobs because of work injuries or disabilities. Their objectives include seeking work related to their previous position and finding employment with compensation close to it.
However, claimants cannot obtain this benefit automatically. Their eligibility could depend on findings after a rehabilitation consultation, which can happen by request or, if necessary, according to the claimant’s disability status report. This process could vary based on the claimant’s circumstances. Still, the procedures could depend on the following factors that might affect the claimant’s eligibility:
- The employee sustained permanent impairments or disability hindering their ability to perform their original job.
- There are circumstances resulting from their work injury or disability that make returning to their position unreasonable.
- There is reason to believe that vocational rehabilitation or retraining can help the employee return to work in a suitable position.
Still, the qualified rehabilitation consultant (QRC) can only pinpoint these qualifications after conducting a thorough review involving the claimant and their treating physician. This consultation stage could be lengthy, depending on the necessary details to form accurate findings. These results could also impact the claimant’s rehabilitation plan if they qualify for this benefit.
Collaborating for the employee’s best interests
After the consultation, the QRC drafts a rehabilitation plan with various steps and services impacting the claimant’s employability. This plan usually includes different methods, including vocational evaluations, counseling, job placement, modification, retraining and skills training.
However, implementation could depend on whether all parties agree to it. Carrying it out could count on all parties’ collaboration and commitment to execute the necessary steps. Nevertheless, this benefit aims to help injured or disabled workers get back on their feet and hold jobs that fit their circumstances.