The New Hampshire Workers' Compensation Law provides for Vocational Rehabilitation services to injured workers who are unable to return to the kind of work for which they have training or experience. What exactly does that mean? If you are injured on the job and that job requires a certain type of training or education or a certain amount of work experience, and you cannot return to that job because of your injury, then you are likely to be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation services.
Vocational Rehabilitation is the provision of services that shall restore the employee to, or as close as possible to, his or her prior earning capacity as measured by the employee's average weekly wage. Average Weekly Wage (AWW) is the average amount of wages you have earned weekly over a period of time prior to your injury. It is also the amount on which your weekly compensation checks are based. You may request more information on this from your workers' compensation insurance carrier or the Department of Labor's claims staff.
Although Vocational Rehabilitation services are provided in a variety of settings, Workers' Compensation Vocational Rehabilitation is provided by private rehabilitation companies, which are staffed by Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Providers. The services they provide are regulated and monitored by the Department of Labor to ensure compliance with the law.
Vocational Rehabilitation services are provided by individuals who are Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Providers (CVRP). This designation is acquired through training, experience, and/or national certification. For New Hampshire cases, the CVRP designation is required for those who provide Vocational Rehabilitation services. This means that the person providing Vocational Rehabilitation services to you (no matter where you live) is qualified to do so, and is aware of the laws and ethics involved.
There are a variety of services offered by Vocational Rehabilitation. Examples of these would be vocational counseling, vocational testing, job seeking skills training, job development services, and vocational exploration. Vocational Rehabilitation services vary according to your physical capacities, as established by a physician, your average weekly wage, your prior training, work experience, education, age, and the level of the hierarchy selected.
Vocational Rehabilitation is provided in a hierarchy of services, in other words, in a very specific order. The job of the CVRP is to work with you, step by step (beginning at step one) through the hierarchy, until you reach the level where you can return to work, with the expectation that you will regain your average weekly wage.
The hierarchy of services is as follows:
As you regain work capacity, your Vocational Rehabilitation counselor may assist you in returning to temporary alternative duty with your employer. Temporary alternative duty is made up of duties, which you can fulfill at your present employer with your doctor's permission. It may be only a few hours a day until you regain your maximum work capacity. It is not a permanent new job and is intended to allow you to be productive while you recover from your injury. Should you not regain your previous work capacity, it may still be necessary to seek a new type of work or employer.
When you have been provided with a work release from the physician, it is your obligation to look for work. The Vocational Rehabilitation process is designed to assist you in your return to work.
Vocational Rehabilitation - Provider Certification - RSA 281-A:68
Effective October 3, 1997, anyone providing vocational rehabilitation services in any state to a NH Workers' Compensation recipient must be certified by the NH Department of Labor. You must be certified before providing services. In order to become certified, please read New Hampshire Administrative Rule Chapter Lab 516 Certification of Vocational Rehabilitation Providers carefully and complete the Application for NH Vocational Rehabilitation Provider Certification Form . Send the original completed and signed application form with the necessary attachments to:
Vocational Rehabilitation Coordinator
NH Department of Labor
95 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301
Send no money. After your application has been approved, you will receive an invoice for payment. Once payment has been received, a card with your certification number will be mailed to you. Without certification you cannot provide vocational rehabilitation services.
Questions concerning Vocational Rehabilitation services will be answered by the personnel in the office of the Vocational Rehabilitation Coordinator at the Department of Labor. This office may be reached directly by dialing 271-3328. The NH in-state toll free number is 1-800-272-4353.
These are the formats a CVRP is required to follow when submitting these required documents to the New Hampshire Department of Labor. Please refer to New Hampshire Administrative Rules Chapter LAB 509 Vocational Rehabilitation for further directions.
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New Hampshire Department of Labor |
95 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3176 |
Hours of Operation: 8am - 4:30pm M-F