Let’s “voc” (pronounced VOKE) him! – a Vocational Rehabilitation referral is frequently used as the last ditch effort to settle a case if nothing else has worked. Vocational Rehabilitation is not a verb – it is a profession. Before introducing VR, it would be helpful to answer some questions:What efforts have been made to facilitate a RTW with the same employer?Was a job analysis provided to identify job demands?Was a functional assessment used to determine the IW’s (injured worker) true physical capabilities?Was transitional duty available or offered?Once the need for permanent restrictions was anticipated, what services were used to facilitate RTW (e.g., assisting the IW to obtain a high school diploma)?
By using "Vocational Rehabilitation" as a negative service to facilitate something other than assistance for the IW to find appropriate work within their capabilities, this practice is counterproductive at the least.