Vocational Rehabilitation

The Division of Workers' Compensation (Division) administers a program employers may use to provide vocational rehabilitation to severely injured worker. The employee must have sustained a workplace injury of sufficient severity as indicated in Section 287.148 RSMo. The employee may receive vocational rehabilitation services, if authorized by the employer, which are reasonably necessary to restore the employee to suitable and gainful employment.

The Division has the responsibility to ensure that qualified practitioners and facilities are available and have the capability of providing the appropriate rehabilitation services for the injuries sustained. The Division also has the responsibility of reviewing the written plan of care to ensure that the employee is restored to suitable and gainful employment.

Section 287.143-287.149 RSMo governs vocational rehabilitation.

For information on Physical Rehabilitation click here.

Vocational and Rehabilitation Initial Assessment

Section 287.148 RSMo requires that an initial assessment be conducted with the injured worker, the employer and all treating physicians.

A Vocational and Rehabilitation Assessment must include the following items at a minimum, relating to the injured worker:

  1. Records Reviewed - List all medical records reviewed to include the physician’s final rating and restrictions;
  2. Background Information - demographic and family;
  3. Educational Background;
  4. Work History;
  5. Injuries (current and past);
  6. Functional Limitations;
  7. Current Daily Activities;
  8. Vocational Test Results;
  9. Conclusions related to ability to work;
  10. Determination if vocational rehabilitation services are required;
  11. Provide copies of the assessment and determination to the injured worker/claimant and lawyer; insurer/employer and the Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Vocation Rehabilitation Plan

A Vocation Rehabilitation Plan - is a written proposal of the services to be performed by a rehabilitation practitioner or provider that includes the following criteria or minimum objectives:

  1. Estimated earnings at plan completion;
  2. Type of Plan;
    1. Same job, same employer;
    2. Modified job, same employer;
    3. Different job, same employer;
    4. Same job, different employer;
    5. Modified job, different employer;
    6. Different job, different employer;
    7. Re-education and training;
  3. Vocational Goals;
  4. Consultant Responsibilities;
  5. Employee Responsibilities;
  6. Time Frames;
  7. Recommendation on coordination of physical rehabilitation, work hardening, vocational assessment, vocational counseling, job placement and occupational skill training and independent living if appropriate;
  8. Signatures of employee/claimant and consultant;
  9. Copies of plan provided to
    1. Employee/Claimant’s lawyer
    2. Employer/Insurer
    3. Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation

Vocational Rehabilitation Facility and Provider Qualification RSMo 287.144

The facility or institution that provides the rehabilitation services and the rehabilitation practitioner must be certified by the Division. The Division adopts the certification of the facilities and hospitals that are accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals or the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation facilities or American Osteopathic Association. Sections 287.144-287.145 RSMo contain additional information on rehabilitation practitioner and provider certification.

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