Bulletin 95-8
June 9, 1995

New Vocational Rehabilitation Regulations Now in Effect

New vocational rehabilitation regulations are now in effect which are aimed at reducing paperwork, minimizing billing disputes, and speeding the process of determining the medical eligibility of employees in disputed cases. Specifically, the new regulations:

New Standards

In addition to the new regulations, which were adopted on February 22, 1995, revised standards governing the timeliness and quality of vocational rehabilitation services have been approved by the Administrative Director and will be distributed through the main counseling and insurer organizations.

The new standards were necessary because of the recent changes in the law which provide a $16,000 cap for vocational rehabilitation benefits and services. The revised standards also address the requirement that schools, trainers and tutors must be approved by the Council for Private Post Secondary Education. They make clear that in developing a plan, counselors must determine whether facilities or persons providing training have been approved by the Council, which has jurisdiction over all training facilities in California.

One of the questions that is frequently asked is when does the $16,000 cap begin. Section 10125 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations states that the cap begins when all of the following occur:

  1. The employee has been identified by the claims administrator as medically eligible for rehabilitation and a notice of potential eligibility has been sent to the employee;

  2. The employee has received notice in writing of the lack of modified or alternative work with the employer; and

  3. The employee has made a request for vocational rehabilitation services.