Frequently Asked Questions
Source: Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry
The following are a number of common questions that an injured worker may have. For a better understanding of the services that may be available to you, consult the Q&A below:
What are vocational rehabilitation services?
A work injury usually does not interrupt employment, but when it does, the employer and employee, working together, can usually bring about a return to work. However, if a work injury prevents an employee from returning to the job, vocational rehabilitation services may be requested.
What is a qualified rehabilitation consultant (QRC)?
Rehabilitation services are provided by experienced rehabilitation counselors approved by the department as qualified rehabilitation consultants or QRCs. A QRC conducts the rehabilitation consultation, writes the rehabilitation plan, provides rehabilitation services and guides the delivery of rehabilitation services by others.
How are vocational rehabilitation services requested?
A rehabilitation consultation to determine eligibility for rehabilitation services is the first step. The employer/insurer can request this consultation by referring the case directly to a QRC. The employee may also request a consultation; this should be done in writing to the employer/insurer - employees may use a Rehabilitation Request form, available on the MN Workers' Compensation site. If liability for the claim is disputed, the employee may receive a consultation through the department's Vocational Rehabilitation unit.
What is the employers' or insurers' response to the rehabilitation consultation request?
When an employee requests a rehabilitation consultation, the employer or insurer responds to the request within 14 days by filing a Disability Status Report form.
If the employer or insurer believes a rehabilitation consultation would be helpful, the employer or insurer refers the case to a QRC. If the employer or insurer believes the employee will return to work with the employer without vocational rehabilitation services, the employer may request a waiver of the consultation and of rehabilitation services, using the Disability Status Report form.
If the department grants the waiver, the waiver is effective until 180 days after the injury. If the employee disputes there should be a waiver of a rehabilitation consultation, the employee may file a Rehabilitation Request form with the Department.
Who chooses the QRC?
The insurer may refer the employee to a QRC for a rehabilitation consultation; however, the employee has the right to choose the QRC for the rehabilitation consultation up to two months after a rehabilitation plan is filed with the department. After this period, the employee and the insurer must agree to any change, or have the matter settled by the department.