PLAN DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
A. The vocational rehabilitation counselor voluntarily chosen or appointed shall perform the unbiased and accurate evaluation, development, submission, and implementation of the employee's vocational rehabilitation plan.
1. When required, the vocational rehabilitation counselor shall evaluate the employee's vocational interests, aptitudes, skills, and physical, psychological, and psychosocial abilities. In addition to reviewing medical data or consulting with medical and/or mental health professionals, the vocational rehabilitation counselor may obtain the data via interviews, review of
medical, diagnostic, psychometric, and related information describing the individual's injury and functional capabilities.
2. When required, the vocational rehabilitation counselor or other qualified personnel under the supervision of the vocational rehabilitation counselor shall perform transferable skills analyses, labor market surveys, utilization of occupational and employment information, and on-the-job evaluations (including real or simulated work activity determinations), administering and/or interpreting psychometric and/or vocational testing (to include standardized interest, aptitude, achievement, and specific skills tests).
B. The vocational rehabilitation counselor voluntarily agreed to or appointed shall evaluate the employee to determine what vocational rehabilitation services, if
any, may be needed to assist the employee to return to suitable employment
1. The vocational rehabilitation counselor shall follow the priorities pursuant to section 48-162.01 in evaluating the employee and developing a rehabilitation plan. No formal retraining plan shall be submitted to the court unless the vocational rehabilitation counselor certifies that all lower priorities have been determined to be unlikely to result in a suitable job placement or return to work opportunity for the injured employee.
2. No higher priority may be utilized unless the vocational rehabilitation counselor has determined that all lower priorities would unlikely result in the job placement or return to work of the injured employee. If a lower priority is clearly inappropriate for the employee, the next higher priority shall be utilized.
3. The following priorities are listed in order from lower to higher priority.
a. Return to the previous job with the same employer;
b. Modification of the previous job with the same employer;
c. A new job with the same employer;
d. A job with a new employer;
e. A period of formal training which is designed to lead to employment in another career field. This is designed to prepare the employee for suitable employment in another occupation. Formal training shall be applicable to the specific vocational goal listed on the proposed vocational rehabilitation plan and shall be appropriate and necessary to enable
the employee to meet the vocational goal.
C. Only certified vocational rehabilitation counselors shall develop vocational rehabilitation plans. When the vocational rehabilitation counselor determines the injured employee will be unable to return to suitable employment without the provision of vocational rehabilitation services, the vocational rehabilitation counselor shall develop a vocational rehabilitation plan and submit it directly to the court. The plan shall list the specific vocational goal, the specific types of services and estimated costs necessary to meet the specific vocational goal.
D. All proposed rehabilitation plans shall be submitted on a vocational rehabilitation plan form developed by the court and shall be completed in accordance with the instructions provided on the form.
E. The fee of the vocational rehabilitation counselor for the evaluation and for the development and implementation of the vocational rehabilitation plan shall be paid for by the employer or his or her insurer within 30 days of receipt of a statement of charges. Such fee shall include expenses for job placement services provided by the vocational rehabilitation counselor as well as expenses for a certified job placement specialist or an interpreter when necessary to assist the vocational rehabilitation counselor in the performance of his or her duties. Any such job placement specialist or interpreter shall be selected by the vocational rehabilitation counselor. Sections48-162.0l, 48-163, 48-165, RRS. 2010.
Effective date: December 18, 2008.