Thursday, January 26, 2012

Choose Your Own QRC: MN Work Comp. Qualified Rehabilitation Consultants

In Minnesota, if you are having difficulty performing your job duties because of your work injury, or if your employer has terminated you or laid you off because there is no work within your restrictions, you may be eligible for the assistance of a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC).

If you are injured on the job, you have the right to request a consultation with a QRC at any time. After your consultation, the QRC will determine if you are a “qualified employee,” which means
"an employee who, because of the effects of a work-related injury or disease, whether or not combined with the effects of a prior injury or disability:
A. is permanently precluded or is likely to be permanently precluded from engaging in the employee's usual and customary occupation or from engaging in the job the employee held at the time of injury;
B. cannot reasonably be expected to return to suitable gainful employment with the date-of injury employer; and
C. can reasonably be expected to return to suitable gainful employment through the provision of rehabilitation services, considering the treating physician's opinion of the employee's work ability."
If you are found to be a qualified employee, your QRC works with you, your employer, your medical providers, and the workers’ compensation insurance company to help you get back to suitable gainful employment.

QRC’s also provide medical management services, transferable skills analysis, vocational testing, ergonomic job modification, job seeking skills training, resume preparation, and job development and placement.

You have the right to choose your own QRC! The QRC you choose can have a significant impact on your case. 

Qualified Rehabilitation Consultants are licensed in the state of Minnesota to provide vocational rehabilitation services to injured workers. While QRC’s are supposed to work in the interests of both the employee and the employer, some QRC’s are not exactly “independent.”

If an insurance company assigns you a QRC, there’s a good possibility that if push comes to shove, your insurance-company-assigned QRC is not going to be looking out for your interests. Even if you’ve met with a QRC the insurance company assigned to you, and you’ve signed a Rehabilitation Plan (R-2) in Minnesota, you have the right to change QRC’s within 60 days without having to seek approval from the workers’ compensation insurance company.

If you feel like your QRC is minimizing your injuries, if you feel like your QRC is pushing your doctor to return you to work too early, or if you feel like your QRC is pressuring your doctor to decrease or remove your restrictions, you may want to consider changing QRC’s. 

After 60 days have passed, it gets more difficult to change QRC’s. After that point, you must have pre-approval from your workers’ compensation insurer, or you must get a decision from the Department of Labor and Industry or a Workers’ Compensation Judge in order to switch. You must show that a change in QRC’s is in the best interests of both parties.

If you’ve been contacted by a QRC that’s been assigned to you by your employer or their insurance company, it’s a good idea to speak with a Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer before agreeing to that QRC. For a free, no-obligation workers’ compensation case consultation, call Meuser & Associate at 877-746-5680 or click here to send us an email. 


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