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Definition of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

A vocational rehabilitation counselor is a person who helps someone who has disabilities achieve their personal, career and independent living goals through a process of counseling. A vocational rehabilitation counselor is a licensed professional who helps people recover from mental disorders, physical injury and substance abuse problems so that they may find meaningful employment or successfully return to their previous job.

When it comes to workers' compensation, however, the role of a vocational rehabilitation counselor is considerably different. An injured worker who is eligible for vocational rehabilitation needs to know that the vocational rehabilitation counselor that they are assigned to has one primary job, which is to get an injured worker back to work as soon as possible in order to save that injured worker's employer's insurance company as much money as possible by ending the workers' compensation benefits that are being paid to that worker. The goal of a workers' compensation vocational rehabilitation counselor is not to encourage knowledge fulfillment, self-improvement, boost the worker's career or any kind of job satisfaction.

Because of this, it is a good idea for an injured worker to be represented by a workers' compensation attorney and have that attorney present with them the first time they meet with a vocational rehabilitation counselor.

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