(a) Within 10 days after the employee is medically eligible under subdivision (c) of Section 4636, or the employer receives a physician's report, or knowledge of a physician's opinion, indicating an employee is medically eligible, the employer shall notify the employee of his or her medical eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services. The notice shall be in writing, in the form and manner prescribed by the administrative director, with a copy forwarded to the vocational rehabilitation unit. The notice shall include all of the following:
(1) An explanation of vocational rehabilitation services available to the employee, including the maintenance allowance payable under Section 139.5 and the effect of any delay in the acceptance of vocational rehabilitation services.
(2) Instructions as to how the employee may apply for vocational rehabilitation services.
(3) Notice that failure to apply within 90 days of receipt of notice of medical eligibility may terminate the employee's entitlement to vocational rehabilitation services, unless the treating physician determines that the employee is medically unable to participate in the provision of vocational rehabilitation services except as otherwise provided by Section 6410.
(4) Notice of the employee's right to an agreed upon qualified rehabilitation representative and to request an evaluation of vocational feasibility prior to any acceptance or rejection of vocational rehabilitation services and the right to request a change of qualified rehabilitation representative pursuant to Section 4640.
(5) Notice that vocational rehabilitation services may not be settled or otherwise converted to cash payments.
Immediately thereafter, unless the employee's medical condition precludes participation or the employee declines to accept vocational rehabilitation services, the employer shall assign a qualified rehabilitation representative, selected in agreement with the employee, to determine if the employee meets the vocational feasibility requirements of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 4635. If agreement cannot be reached, a qualified rehabilitation representative shall be selected pursuant to Section 4640.
(b) If an employee is notified of his or her potential entitlement to vocational rehabilitation services pursuant to subdivision (a) and it is subsequently determined that the employee is not a qualified injured worker, the employer shall notify the employee, in the form and manner prescribed by the administrative director, that he or she is not entitled to further vocational rehabilitation services, the reasons therefor, and the procedure to be followed in contesting the determination.
(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1241, Sec. 7.)