FAQ: Vocational Training & Education

Overview

Employees who sustain a work injury to a shoulder, and are unable to return to gainful employment due to the resulting permanent partial disability, may qualify to participate in vocational training and education under Iowa Code section 85.70(2) and Rule 876 IAC 4.50.

This page contains frequently asked questions (FAQ) about vocational training and education.

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FAQ

What type of injury must you sustain to qualify?

To qualify for vocational training and education, you must have:

  1. Sustained a shoulder injury arising out of and in the course of employment;
  2. The work injury to your shoulder must have resulted in permanent partial disability; and
  3. The permanent partial disability caused by your shoulder injury must make you unable to return to gainful employment.

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Can you qualify with a permanent injury to a body part other than your shoulder?

No, vocational training and education under Iowa Code section 85.70(2) is not available to you if you have not sustained a shoulder injury resulting in permanent partial disability that leaves you unable to return to gainful employment.

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Can you qualify for the vocational rehabilitation benefit under Iowa Code section 85.70(1) if you sustained a shoulder injury?

No, the vocational rehabilitation program benefit under Iowa Code section 85.70(1) is not available to you if you sustained a work injury to your shoulder resulting in permanent partial disability that leaves you unable to return to gainful employment.

The vocational rehabilitation program benefit may be available to you if you sustained a work injury to a body part other than your shoulder that has resulted in permanent disability that leaves you unable to return to gainful employment.

For more information about the vocational rehabilitation program benefit, click here.

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What are the requirements to qualify for the vocational training and education program?

To qualify for vocational training and education, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You sustained an injury to a shoulder resulting in permanent partial ]disability for which compensation is payable under Iowa workers' compensation law;
  2. You are unable to return to gainful employment because of the disability to your shoulder caused by the work injury.
  3. Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) evaluates you and determines you would benefit from the program.
  4. You enroll in a qualifying community college program within six months of IWD referring you to the program.

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What fields are covered by the vocational training and education program?

Only community college training programs resulting in an AA degree or certificate in one of the following fields qualify:

  • Iowa High School Equivalency (HiSET)
  • Agriculture
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Health Occupations
  • Business
  • Industrial Technology
  • Marketing

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What if you want to enroll in a program in a field other than those listed in the law?

If you want to enroll in a program in a field other than those listed in the law, you may do so, but you cannot get up to $15,000 to pay for tuition, fees, and required supplies under the program. You are only eligible to receive up to $15,000 for tuition, fees, and required supplies for a vocational training and education under Iowa Code section 85.70(2) if you enroll in a community college training program resulting in an AA degree or certificate in one of the fields listed above.

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What if you want to enroll in a school other than an Iowa community college?

If you want to enroll in an education or training program offered by an entity other than an Iowa community college, you may do so, but you cannot get up to $15,000 to pay for tuition, fees, and required supplies under the vocational training and education program. You may only receive up to $15,000 for tuition, fees, and required supplies to participate in a vocational training and education program in a qualifying field at an Iowa community college.

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How do you request an evaluation by Iowa Workforce Development?

To request an evaluation by Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) using the online form, click here.

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Where does IWD perform evaluations?

IWD evaluates potential program participants at IowaWORKS centers. To view IowaWORKS locations, click here.

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where does IWD refer you to?

If IWD determines you would benefit from vocational education and training, IWD will refer you to either:

  • The Iowa community college that is in the closest proximity to your residence; or
  • Upon agreement of you and IWD, to the Iowa community college that offers a vocational training and education program that best meets your needs.

Is there a deadline by which you must enroll after IWD refers you to a community college?

You must enroll in the Iowa community college program within six months after IWD makes a referral to a community college or you lose eligibility.

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What is the benefit of the program?

You are eligible for up to $15,000 of financial support for:

  • Tuition
  • Fees
  • Purchase of supplies required to participate in the program

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How does billing work?

The employer or employer's insurance carrier is billed directly by the community college.

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Are there status reports?

Yes, the employer or employer's insurance carrier may request a periodic status report each semester from the community college documenting your attendance and participation in and completion of the program.

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Are there attendance requirements?

Yes, your eligibility for continued participation is terminated if you do not meet the attendance requirements of the Iowa community college at which you're enrolled.

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What happens if you fail a course?

Your eligibility for continued participation in the program is terminated if you do not maintain a passing grade in each course in which you're enrolled each semester, or the equivalent.

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What if there's a dispute?

If the individual, the employer, or employer's insurance carrier dispute an action relating to the vocational education and training program, the aggrieved party may initiate a contested case proceeding before the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner by completing and filing an Original Notice & Petition Concerning Application for Vocational Training & Education for Shoulder Injuries (Form 100D, 14-0012).

To access the form, click here.

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What do you do if you receive an Original Notice & Petition Concerning Application for Vocational Training & Education for Shoulder Injury?

If you receive an Original Notice & Petition Concerning Application for Vocational Training & Education for Shoulder Injury, that means an action has been filed with the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner, seeking relief under Iowa Code section 85.70(2) and Rule 876 IAC 4.50, as set forth in the Petition.

You should advice your attorney (if you have one). If you are an employer, you should notify your insurance carrier (if you have one).

You may wish to seek legal advice. For resources to help you seek legal advice and attorney representation, click here.

You or your attorney may file an Answer Concerning Application for Vocational Training & Education for Shoulder Injuries. To access the form, click here.

Failure to participate could impact your rights and responsibilities under Iowa workers’ compensation law. 

Is there a hearing?

If a party files a proper Original Notice & Petition Concerning Application for Vocational Training & Education for Shoulder Injuries (Form 100D, 14-0012), DWC will hold a hearing.

For information about hearings concerning application for vocational training and education, click here.

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Where can you get legal advice?

DWC is a neutral government agency and cannot give you legal advice or refer you to an attorney.

For resources to help you get legal advice or hire an attorney, click here.

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Does the information on this page supersede or change Iowa law?

Nothing on this page supersedes or changes any provision of the Iowa Code or Iowa Administrative Code; decision issued by Iowa courts, the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner or a deputy commissioner; or order issued by DWC.

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