Vocational case managers assist injured employees in the evaluation of return to work options. Vocational case managers use functional capabilities, employment, education, experience and transferable skills to evaluate and develop a return to work plan.  

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  • Complete an initial meeting
  • Assist in understanding the vocational case management process
  • Maintain contact with the injured worker, medical provider, claims adjuster, nurse case manager (if assigned), and employer
  • Determine if skill upgrading would be beneficial (computer, academic, or GED)
  • Attend medical appointments as needed (private time allowed)
  • Assist with job seeking skills
  • Develop a Vocational Case Manager's Report (VCR)
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Skills that can be transferred from one job to another including ability and knowledge gained through personal experience (schooling, jobs, classes, hobbies, sports, etc).

Hard skills are job-specific and gained through hands-on training. Examples include:

  • Operating equipment 
  • Writing thorough and accurate notes and numbers
  • Assembling products 

Soft skills are a combination of people, social and communication skills gained while working with others. Examples include:

  • Communicating effectively
  • Being dependable
  • Using active listening
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Learning or improving skills helps you to become successful in a career and to increase employment opportunities. Skill upgrading is the process of improving academic and/or computer skills by participating in adult education programs, classes, training, or on-line programs.

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Vocational case managers identify the first appropriate option among the following to assist the injured employee in returning to work.

a. Return worker to same position with the same employer

b. Return worker to the same occupation with any employer

c. Return worker to a modified position with the same employer

d. Return worker to a modified or alternative occupation with any employer

e. Return worker to an occupation within the local job pool of the area in which the worker was living at the date of injury or of the employee’s current address which is suited to the employee’s education, experience, and marketable skills

f. Return worker to an occupation in the statewide job pool which is suited to the employee’s education, experience, and marketable skills

g. Retrain the worker for 104 weeks or less