Two pasted documents below.
Vocational Rehabilitation Guidelines
The Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission has issued these guidelines for vocational rehabilitation with the hope that the guidelines will provide better understanding between the parties, facilitate appropriate vocational rehabilitation, and eliminate needless conflict and litigation. Neither the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act nor the regulations of the Commission have any provisions regarding the licensure or certification of rehabilitation counselors. Therefore, the Commission does no regulation on this point. Reference should be made to the provisions of Title 54.1 referenced in Section 65.2-603(A)(3) of the Workers' Compensation Act.
1. THE VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION PLAN
A. Vocational rehabilitation services, including vocational evaluation, counseling, job coaching, job development, job placement, on-the-job training, education, and retraining, shall take into account the employee's pre-injury job and wage classification; age, aptitude and level of education; the likelihood of success in the new vocation; and the relative costs and benefits of such services. Retraining should be considered if job placement efforts are not successful, or the employee's transferable skills are not readily marketable.
B. The provider should not ask the employee to engage in a job search or vocational rehabilitation until he/she is medically released for work. However, the provider may require the employee to meet in order to assess the employee's potential for work, and to prepare resumes and to schedule other appropriate actions, such as attending job preparation training, in anticipation of employment.
C.The two goals of vocational rehabilitation are to restore the employee to gainful employment, and to relieve the employer's burden of future compensation. Rehabilitation providers should attempt to find employment consistent with the employee's pre-injury position and salary level, and the provider should take into account such factors as distance, transportation costs, and actual anticipated earnings from the potential job, when considering such alternative employment.
D.It is the rehabilitation provider's responsibility to assess employment opportunities by direct contact with potential employers, and to determine whether a suitable position is presently available that is within the employee's restrictions and for which the employee is qualified. Until such prescreening contacts have been made to purge inappropriate leads, the provider should not ask the employee to attend interviews, but the provider may ask the employee to complete resumes and to attend job preparation training. The provider may ask the employee to attend interviews for present employment opportunities where it is anticipated that the employee will be released to such work within a reasonably brief period.
Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission 1000 DMV Drive, Richmond, VA 23220 Phone: 1-877-664-2566 Website: http://www.workcomp.virginia.gov WebFile: https://webfile.workcomp.virginia.gov
E. Telemarketing and commission sales positions are not appropriate job placement, unless the employee has demonstrated aptitude or ability in this line of work. Interviews with sheltered workshops and selective employers who are subsidized by employers/carriers are also inappropriate, if they do not provide the potential for legitimate rehabilitation, such as learning work skills or restoring the employee to a productive place in the labor market.
F. Requiring employees to look in newspapers, contact a specific number of potential employers per week, check listings at the VEC, or register with temporary services does not constitute appropriate "vocational rehabilitation." However, an employee may volunteer to do these activities. It would also be inappropriate for the rehabilitation provider to impose a blanket requirement on the employee to submit all job applications within twenty-four hours. It is not unreasonable for the provider to request written confirmation of the employee's job interviews or applications, where possible.
G. Rehabilitation providers may not advise the employee to withhold information about his/her injury or job capabilities during job interviews or on applications. However, the employee may not discuss them in such a way as to sabotage the interview or application process.
H.Employees are not required to give rehabilitation providers personal or financial information, such as number of children, spouse's employment, or credit history, unless such information relates to a bona fide occupational qualification for employment. An employee is required to disclose whether he/she is legally eligible for employment, has a valid driver's license, or has been convicted of a felony, and to provide his/her previous employment history.
2. MEETINGS BETWEEN EMPLOYEES AND PROVIDERS
A. Meetings should be held at reasonable times and places for both the employee and provider. Employees are not required to invite rehabilitation providers onto their property or into their homes. Also, just as the employee must cooperate with reasonable demands of the rehabilitation provider that are likely to return him/her to gainful employment, the provider must make reasonable accommodation for the employee's personal life.
B. Routine telephone contact should be made between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. No calls should be made before 7:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m. except in cases of emergency.
C.The provider should give the employee advance notice, in writing, of meetings between the rehabilitation provider and employee, and of employment interviews. A minimum of five calendar days' notice of any meeting or employment interview is suggested, except for exceptional situations.
D.Prior to being released to light duty, the employee does not have to seek employment. However, the employee must meet with the provider to provide background information, to participate in an assessment of functional capacities in anticipation of a work release, and to satisfy other appropriate preparations for the vocational rehabilitation.
3. ROLE OF EMPLOYEE'S ATTORNEY
A. Employees have the right to have their attorney present at the initial rehabilitation meeting. However, an attorney may not delay such a meeting for more than two weeks nor can the attorney restrict contact between the employee and rehabilitation provider.
B. An employee may consult with his/her attorney at any time. Actions of the attorney will be imputed to the employee for the purposes of considering whether the employee is cooperating.
4. MEDICAL ASPECTS OF REHABILITATION
A. Neither the rehabilitation provider nor the carrier can medically manage the employee's treatment, by prescribing referrals, limiting treatment options, or otherwise participating in determining treatment unless requested by the physician.
B. Monitoring treatment is not medical management. With the consent of the physician, the provider may meet with the doctor outside of the employee's presence. The employee is not required to sign a consent granting the provider access to the physicians. If the physician does not wish to communicate with the provider, information may be obtained by utilizing discovery rights.
C.The employee has the right to a private examination by and consultation with the medical provider without the presence of the rehabilitation provider.
D.In order to determine the work capacity of the employee, the provider may require the employee to submit to a functional evaluation, if approved and authorized by the employee's treating physician or an independent medical examiner.
5. TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER COSTS
A. The employee is entitled to reimbursement for expenses incurred in rehabilitation efforts. This includes mileage costs for trips to the VEC, rehabilitation meetings, obtaining or returning applications, attending interviews, and other travel at the direction of the provider. Costs incurred for telephone calls, photocopying, postage, and obtaining DMV and other records are also reimbursable, if such are requested by the rehabilitation provider or a potential employer.
B. When transportation is a problem, it is the responsibility of the vocational rehabilitation provider/carrier to make reasonable arrangements to insure the employee's attendance at meetings and interviews. This may include forwarding mileage money in advance or arranging appropriate alternative transportation, if requested.
§ 65.2-603. Duty to furnish medical attention, etc., and vocational rehabilitation; effect of refusal of employee to accept.
A. Pursuant to this section:
1. As long as necessary after an accident, the employer shall furnish or cause to be furnished, free of charge to the injured employee, a physician chosen by the injured employee from a panel of at least three physicians selected by the employer and such other necessary medical attention. Where such accident results in the amputation or loss of use of an arm, hand, leg, or foot or the enucleation of an eye or the loss of any natural teeth or loss of hearing, the employer shall furnish prosthetic or orthotic appliances, as well as wheelchairs, walkers, canes, or crutches, proper fitting and maintenance thereof, and training in the use thereof, as the nature of the injury may require. In awards entered for incapacity for work, under this title, upon determination by the treating physician and the Commission that the same is medically necessary, the Commission may require that the employer furnish and maintain (i) modifications to or equipment for the employee's automobile or (ii) bedside lifts, adjustable beds, and modification of the employee's principal home consisting of ramps, handrails, or any appliances prescribed by the treating physician and doorway alterations, provided that the aggregate cost of all such items and modifications required to be furnished pursuant to clauses (i) and (ii) on account of any one accident shall not exceed $42,000. The employee shall accept the attending physician, unless otherwise ordered by the Commission, and in addition, such surgical and hospital service and supplies as may be deemed necessary by the attending physician or the Commission.
2. The employer shall repair, if repairable, or replace dentures, artificial limbs, or other prosthetic or orthotic devices damaged in an accident otherwise compensable under workers' compensation, and furnish proper fitting thereof.
3. The employer shall also furnish or cause to be furnished, at the direction of the Commission, reasonable and necessary vocational rehabilitation services; however, the employer shall not be required to furnish, or cause to be furnished, services under this subdivision to any injured employee not eligible for lawful employment.
Vocational rehabilitation services may include vocational evaluation, counseling, job coaching, job development, job placement, on-the-job training, education, and retraining. Those vocational rehabilitation services that involve the exercise of professional judgment as defined in § 54.1-3510 shall be provided by a certified rehabilitation provider pursuant to Article 2 (§ 54.1-3510 et seq.) of Chapter 35 of Title 54.1 or by a person licensed by the Boards of Counseling; Medicine; Nursing; Optometry; Psychology; or Social Work or, in accordance with subsection B of § 54.1-3513, by a person certified by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) as a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC) or a person certified by the Commission on Certification of Work Adjustment and Vocational Evaluation Specialists (CCWAVES) as a Certified Vocational Evaluation Specialist (CVE).
In the event a dispute arises, any party may request a hearing and seek the approval of the Commission for the proposed services. Such services shall take into account the employee's preinjury job and wage classifications; his age, aptitude, and level of education; the likelihood of success in the new vocation; and the relative costs and benefits to be derived from such services.
B. The unjustified refusal of the employee to accept such medical service or vocational rehabilitation services when provided by the employer shall bar the employee from further compensation until such refusal ceases and no compensation shall at any time be paid for the period of suspension unless, in the opinion of the Commission, the circumstances justified the refusal. In any such case the Commission may order a change in the medical or hospital service or vocational rehabilitation services.
C. If in an emergency or on account of the employer's failure to provide the medical care during the period herein specified, or for other good reasons, a physician other than provided by the employer is called to treat the injured employee, during such period, the reasonable cost of such service shall be paid by the employer if ordered so to do by the Commission.
D. As used in this section and in § 65.2-604, the terms "medical attention," "medical service," "medical care," and "medical report" shall be deemed to include chiropractic service or treatment and, where appropriate, a chiropractic
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E. Whenever an employer furnishes an employee the names of three physicians pursuant to this section, and the employer also assumes all or part of the cost of providing health care coverage for the employee as a self-insured or under a group health insurance policy, health services plan or health care plan, upon the request of an employee, the employer shall also inform the employee whether each physician named is eligible to receive payment under the employee's health care coverage provided by the employer.
F. If the injured employee has an injury which may be treated within the scope of practice for a chiropractor, then the employer or insurer may include chiropractors on the panel provided the injured employee.
(Code 1950, § 65-85; 1952, c. 385; 1960, cc. 310, 444, 580; 1964, c. 366; 1966, c. 388; 1968, cc. 377, 660, § 65.188; 1970, c. 470; 1972, c. 229; 1973, c. 542; 1975, c. 280; 1980, c. 600; 1982, c. 585; 1983, c. 471; 1987, cc. 455, 475; 1989, c. 540; 1990, c. 789; 1991, cc. 275, 355, 376; 1994, c. 558; 1997, c. 839; 1998, c. 65; 1999, c. 780; 2000, cc. 473, 1018; 2004, c. 271; 2011, c. 656.)