If you’ve been hurt or injured while at work and have filed for or received workers’ compensation benefits, it’s important to understand what vocational rehabilitation is and what your options are. Depending on the severity and extent of your injuries, there’s a chance that you’ll need additional help to get back to work. Vocational rehabilitation services (VRS) as an important part of the workers’ compensation benefits that you receive.
What is Vocational Rehabilitation?
When your medical provider has given you a work release, you are obligated to return to work. In New Hampshire, if you are unable to return to the kind of work for which you have training or experience, you are entitled to vocational rehabilitation services under RSA 281-A:25. A vocational counselor will be assigned to assist you in your return to work.
What is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor?
The vocational rehabilitation counselor needs to be a Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Provider (CVRP). The designation is achieved through training, experience, and national certification. For New Hampshire cases, the CVRP designation is required for those who provide vocational rehabilitation services. In other words, the person providing vocational rehabilitation services to you (no matter where you live) is qualified to do so and is aware of the laws and ethics involved.
What is the Goal of Vocational Rehabilitation Services?
Although an umbrella for a variety of different services, all vocational rehabilitation activities have the common goal of helping you return to work and are provided in a certain order:
- Return to the same job, the same employer;
- Return to the same job modified, the same employer;
- Return to a different job, the same employer;
- Return to the same job, different employer;
- Return to same job modified, different employer;
- Return to a different job, different employer;
- On the job training;
- New skill training or retraining;
- Other educational/academic program;
What Type of Services Are Provided?
The type of vocational rehabilitation services you receive depends on what you need, specifically based on the type of injury you’ve had. It’s also important to remember that vocational rehabilitation is a federal-state program, which means that it varies from state to state.
- Vocational, medical, psychological assessment and evaluation
- Ongoing training
- Refresher courses
- On-the-job training
- Professional counseling
- Job coaching
- Supported employment
- Career searches
- Workplace accommodations and modifications
- Assistive technology and devices
What is a Temporary Alternative Duty (TAD)?
As you regain work capacity, your vocational rehabilitation counselor may assist you in returning to temporary alternative duty with your employer. Temporary alternative duty (TAD) is made up of duties, which you can fulfill at your present employer with your doctor’s permission. It may be only a few hours a day until you regain your maximum work capacity. It is not a permanent new job and is intended to allow you to be productive while you recover from your injury. Should you not regain your previous work capacity, it may still be necessary to seek a new type of work or employer.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office (603) 647-2600 if you or someone you know needs assistance. We concentrate on personal injury and workers’ compensation claims. Always a free consultation!