Information: 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.

Requirements to qualify

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

  1. The employee sustained a shoulder injury arising out of and in the course of employment.
  2. The work injury resulted in permanent partial disability to the employee's shoulder for which compensation is payable under Iowa workers' compensation law.
  3. The employee is unable to return to gainful employment because of the disability to the shoulder caused by the work injury.
  4. Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) evaluates the employee and determines the employee would benefit from a vocational education and training program at a community college.
  5. The employee enrolls in a qualifying community college program within six months of IWD referring the employee to the program.

Fields

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

IWD Evaluation

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

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

The IWD evaluation includes:

  • Career planning
  • Assessments
  • Identification of accommodations
  • Selecting training

IWD Referral

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

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

The employee must enroll in the program within six months after IWD makes a referral to a community college or the employee loses eligibility.

Benefit

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

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

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

Periodic Status Reports

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

Attendance & Grades

An employee's eligibility for continued participation is terminated if the employee does not:

  • Meet the attendance requirements of the Iowa community college at which the employee is enrolled; or
  • Does not maintain a passing grade in each course in which the employee is enrolled each semester, or the equivalent.

Disputes

Original Notice & Petition Concerning Application

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

To access the form, click here.

Answer to Petition Concerning Application

If the individual, the employer, or the employer's insurance carrier files an Original Notice & Petition Concerning Application for Vocational Training & Education for Shoulder Injuries (Form 100D, 14-0012), the other party may complete and file an Answer Concerning Application for Vocational Training & Education for Shoulder Injuries (Form 100D, 14-0012A).

To access the form, click here.

Hearings

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

Iowa Law & Agency Orders

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.