You Can Get Rid of a Vocational Rehabilitation Caseworker

DISCLAIMER: The results are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the clients' cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client's case.

North Carolina workers’ compensation law imposes upon vocational rehabilitation workers certain duties and requirements in connection with their efforts to rehabilitate an injured worker. The North Carolina Industrial Commission has devised a specific set of rules applicable to vocational rehabilitation professionals. These rules are called the North Carolina Industrial Commission Rules for Utilization of Rehabilitation Professionals in Workers' Compensation Claims.

Chief among these rules is that vocational rehabilitation workers are not allowed to send an injured worker out to apply for jobs for which that worker is not suited. It is the vocational rehabilitation professional’s responsibility to conduct a proper investigation to determine whether a prospective job is suitable for the injured worker. The job must be suitable in relation to the worker’s age, education, experience, medical condition, physical limitations, and other factors relative to the worker’s ability to do the job. One of the most common violations of the rules is the habit of vocational rehabilitation professionals to give a list of potential employers to the injured worker and require them to go out and apply for jobs. The vocational rehabilitation caseworker will not have done any investigation into these jobs to see if they are suitable for the injured worker. This practice is against the rules and should not be tolerated.

One of our clients experienced this problem with his vocational rehabilitation caseworker who required him to apply for jobs for which he is obviously not suited. We filed a motion with the North Carolina Industrial Commission and asked that this vocational rehabilitation worker be removed. The motion was based upon the vocational worker’s flagrant disregard and violation of the rules. The Industrial Commission allowed our motion and found that the vocational rehabilitation caseworker had violated the rules and, based upon this violation, the caseworker was removed. Another rehabilitation caseworker was assigned to help our client return to the workforce. So far, this new vocational rehabilitation caseworker has not violated the rules. As a result, our client is much happier and he is much better served by the new vocational rehabilitation caseworker.

Vocational Rehibilitation Caseworker Removed