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Definition of Rehabilitation Unit

Rehabilitation Unit is a unit inside of the Division of Workers' Compensation, DWC, in California. Vocational rehabilitation is overseen by the rehabilitation unit. The rehabilitation unit decides disputes that involve vocational rehabilitation issues in much the same way that the appeals board resolves other workers' compensation issues in a California workers' compensation case. This unit also approves vocational rehabilitation plans for injuries that occurred before January 1, 2004. If an injured worker does not have an attorney, a self-employment plan has to be approved by the rehabilitation unit. This is very hard to do because the rehabilitation unit does not favor self-employment plans unless they are convinced that it will succeed. However, if an injured worker has an attorney, a self-employment plan does not have to be approved by this unit.

The rehabilitation unit has other important responsibilities. These include approving potential settlements of vocational rehabilitation services and reviewing rehabilitation plans. The rehabilitation unit determines whether an injured worker qualifies for vocational rehabilitation services as what is known as a qualified injured worker, or QIW. To be qualified, an injured worker has to be medically eligible and emotionally and physically able to participate in vocational rehabilitation.

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