Vocational Rehabilitation Regulations Effective April 19, 2010


On April 19, 2010 the Rules and Regulations for Vocational Rehabilitation will undergo some important regulatory changes. Below are some of the highlights of those changes. If you want a complete summary of all the changes and amendments, please refer to COMAR through as the regulations are conveniently codified in that section.

All vocational rehabilitation providers and practitioners must be enrolled with the Commission in order to provide services for any workers' compensation claimants. The providers must fill out a VR- 45R Form from the Commission's website in order to become approved providers.

When the Claimant and any Employer and Insurer agree upon a selected practitioner, the parties must submit a VR06 Agreement on the Propriety of Services and Selection of Practitioner with the Commission. No services regarding vocational rehabilitation may begin until that form has been filed with the Commission and the practitioner has received a copy of that agreement. When the parties cannot agree on a selected practitioner, both the Employer and Insurer must file a VR05 Form with the Commission to dispute a provider/practitioner selection. On this form the parties will be asked to select three providers. After both sides have filed this form each will have five business days to strike two of the providers that the other side has chosen. This may be done either by hand-delivery or facsimile (410) 864-5321 – Attention: Regina Brown, Director of Support Services. Once both sides have determined their two strikes, the Commission will randomly select the practitioner to work on that case. This will be done based upon which practitioner has the highest priority on our only provider list. The Commission may generate an Order specifying the name of the practitioner and send that Order to all parties. The parties will be bound by this selection.

Upon being selected a vocational rehabilitation practitioner must submit a proposed rehabilitation plan on the VR01 Form Proposed Vocational Rehabilitation Plan. After that form is submitted, both parties have fifteen days to agree to the plan and submit the form to the Commission. If either party disagrees with the plan, then the Form VR13 Disagreement with Proposed Vocational Rehabilitation Plan shall be submitted. Upon submission of that form a hearing date will be generated with the Commission through the normal process.

Each practitioner must provide a progress report every thirty days. This report must show the activity and type of vocational rehabilitation services being provided and Form VR03 Vocational Rehabilitation Provider Thirty Day Progress Report must be used. This form must also be submitted to the Commission, the Employer and Insurer as well as the Claimant's attorney each time the form is completed.

Fifteen days prior to the expiration of the vocational rehabilitation plan the practitioner must contact all parties. At this time, the practitioner must make the recommendations clear as to the future of the rehabilitation plan. The petitioner may recommend to discontinue/terminate services, extend services, or develop a new plan. There is no specific form to be filed with the Commission at that time. If the parties cannot reach an agreement on the recommendations of the practitioner then the dispute shall be resolved through a normal dispute process through the Commission.

All forms are listed in this brief overview of the new regulations may be found on the Commission's website at www.wcc.state.md.us. If you would like any further information on the new regulations, please feel free to contact our office at (410) 539-0906.