Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2015 at 2:00 pm
There are many reasons why an employee may ask to reschedule a meeting with the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. The employee can be ill, there can be a family function or matter to attend to, the employee may not have transportation to the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VCR) that day. On occasion, the employee may forget about the meeting.
The VCR will usually say something like – “No problem”, or “I understand.” Meanwhile, the VCR is keeping a record of all these missed appointments. These records will constantly be sent to the insurance company for the employer. After a few of these missed meetings, the insurance company is likely to file a petition to terminate your benefits. Yes, terminate your comp benefits forever. The grounds for termination will be that the employee failed to cooperate with the VCR.
In this scenario, the worker’s compensation insurance carrier is likely to win. They don’t have to prove anything more than there is likely “probable cause” that you did not cooperate to be able to stop your benefits immediately and send the matter to hearing. The matter will then be scheduled for a hearing and your benefits will be cut off until there is a decision on the hearing.
In our opinion, this is the MOST unfair aspect of VA Workers Compensation Law. It seems to border on something unconstitutional. Your rights are taken away even before you have a hearing. But Workers Comp is unfortunately not been shown to be a constitutional right. It is created by statute. We suggest you contact your legislators and complain about what we think is an absolutely ridiculous and unfair aspect of the law in Virginia. Maybe one day it will be changed.
The solution to this problem—in the meantime– is to play along – to attend all the meetings and follow up on all job leads.
You should also be letting your Virginia Worker’s Compensation lawyer know exactly what is going on. Are the job leads legitimate? Are the jobs being offered ones that really meet your physical restrictions? Job offers also have to be within the same geographical area where you live or worked.
Our office advises employees to keep detailed notes and print out emails and internet info on all job leads including appointments, emails, and completed applications.