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    Danae Hammitt   

Vocational Assistance Program

Oregon injured workers with substantial obstacles to employment may qualify for services under the Vocational Assistance Program.


The insurer is responsible for contacting the injured worker within five days of certain "trigger points," which are identified in OAR 436-120-0320, for the purpose of identifying the need for vocational assistance. If the worker is eligible, the worker and insurer jointly select an authorized vocational assistance provider. Vocational plans are developed by the provider and worker and approved by the insurer. The Employment Services Team (EST) may provide consultation or plan the review. EST enforces the vocational assistance rules (OAR 436-120) primarily by the dispute resolution process.


Kinds of services

  • Direct Employment Plan: Assists a worker to find and obtain suitable new employment.
  • Training Plan: Assists a worker to obtain suitable new employment when a direct employment plan is not sufficient. The plan includes on-the-job training, basic education, skills training, formal training, and sheltered workshop training.
  • Direct worker purchases necessary for participating in training or for starting a job:
    • Tuition, fees, books, and supplies.
    • Tools and equipment.
    • Wage reimbursement for on-the-job training.
    • Some moving, living and transportation expenses.
    • Some medical, dental, psychological, prosthetic expenses, etc., unrelated to the injury.
    • Work adjustment or capacities evaluations.
    • Some dues and fees.
    • Clothing.
    • Child or disabled adult care.
    • Other necessary expenses.

Eligibility criteria

  • Accepted, disabling claim.
  • Permanent disability.
  • Can not return to regular work.
  • Has a substantial handicap to employment (e.g., does not have the knowledge, skills, or abilities to return to physically suitable work that pays at least 80 percent of the current wage for the job at injury).
  • Cannot return to other suitable work with the employer at injury.
For more information contact:
Employment Services Team: 541-776-6032 or 800-452-0288 (toll-free), ext. 1719

If you have questions about this webpage, please contact Danae Hammitt, 503-947-7018.