DVR/Appropriateness of Vocational Retraining
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR, a Federal/State agency) assists individuals with disabilities in getting a job, retaining a job, or getting a better job. DVR works with people who have any impediment to employment, whether physical or mental, congenital or acquired.
DVR is a very consumer driven agency and their caseload does NOT include a large number of injured workers, even though they are the agency to whom injured workers are directed for vocational rehabilitation services by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
Consequently, DVR counselors are not often familiar with the “rules” of Workers Compensation which outlines a specific protocol that involves first exploring return to work at the employer of injury. If that is not feasible, then direct job placement must be considered. If job placement will not likely result in suitable employment (defined as work within that individual’s permanent restrictions which pays at least 90% of time of injury wage), then an 80 week training program is presumed appropriate.
Like many other government funded agencies, at times DVR finds itself with a budgeting shortfall and some applicants for their services—those who are considered the comparatively “least disabled”—are put on a “waiting list” for services. If those individuals are covered under Workers Compensation, they can select a qualified private sector rehabilitation consultant—such as myself—to provide those services that DVR cannot due to lack of funding. The Work Comp carrier is then responsible for the reasonable costs of those services.
Currently, while DVR still categorizes consumers by extent of disability, the wait list has been relatively non-existent, so few private sector counselors have been called upon to write and/or implement vocational rehabilitation plans.
However, DVR sometimes writes vocational rehabilitation (and particularly retraining) plans that may be considered questionable in terms of fit with permanent restrictions, significant enhancement of earning capacity, training that exceeds the 80 week threshold, etc.
While poor vocational rehabilitation planning does not constitute “abuse of discretion,” it nevertheless does the consumer as much a disservice as it does the source that will be funding the training.
I would be happy to investigate the appropriateness of a retraining claim, either via file review and/or through a more thorough vocational evaluation interview. Please feel free to give me a call to discuss your needs in this regard!
To schedule an appointment, please call:
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