Why I've come to hate vocational rehabilitation in workers comp cases.

Posted on Mar 05, 2014

Vocational rehabilitation is something that sounds great in theory.  It's supposed to help injured workers who can't return to their regular job because of an injury, find light duty work.

In D.C. voc rehab is supposed to be designed to get someone back to work at the same wages he was earning before the injury, or as close as possible (and under the workers comp system, an injured worker can get benefits for the wage loss if the new job pays less).

But many workers in D.C. are earning high incomes - through overtime, experience and a number of other factors. And in this economy, those jobs aren't there any more.

So insurance companies use these voc rehab "counselors" to help an injured worker find work.  And that would be great if you're trying to get a job at Pizza Hut, or as a dispatcher, driver, etc - nothing wrong with those jobs but they don't pay much and they're entry level.  Those employers aren't hiring a 54 year old with 30 years experience in his industry.

So these counselors do the next best thing (FOR THE INSURANCE COMPANY) - they try to trump up a failure to cooperate with vocational rehabilitation so the insurance company can cut off your benefits.  They look for anything and everything you do or don't do that may be different with how they do it.