If you qualify for vocational retraining, you and your vocational rehabilitation counselor (VRC) will draft a plan to train you for new work. When the draft plan is ready, your VRC will send it to us for approval. We will notify you when we have approved the plan.

When you receive the approval notice from us, read it carefully. It includes a form you will need to complete and return to us. You will use the form to choose between 2 training options:

  • Option 1 is to follow your approved retraining plan.
  • Option 2 is to develop your own training plan.

If we don’t receive your option election form before the Option 1 retraining plan starts, you must proceed with the Option 1 plan. You can choose Option 2 after starting Option 1 as long as you do so before the Option 2 deadline.

Choosing your training option is an important decision. Besides talking with your VRC, you may want to talk with family members or other professionals before making your final decision.

Vocational options

Vocational Option 1
Follow your L&I-approved plan
Vocational Option 2
Develop your own plan
Total amount available for vocational training $19,033.67* $19,033.67*
Time limit for training 2 years 5 years
Training plan You are required to follow the L&I-approved plan developed by the VRC. You can use your training money for tuition or training costs for L&I-approved programs. The retraining goal or program you choose can be different from the retraining plan we approved.
Time-loss compensation You will continue to receive time-loss compensation as long as you participate and meet all the requirements of our approved plan. Time-loss payments will end and your claim will close. You will receive a vocational award equal to 9 months of time-loss compensation, paid out every 2 weeks.
Medical benefits You will continue to receive medical benefits related to your injury or disease as long as you participate and meet all the requirements of your approved plan. Your claim will close and medical benefits will end.

* The maximum retraining cost is adjusted July 1 each year and the new amount is available for plans approved on or after July 1.

Option 2 deadline

You can choose Option 2 at any point within the following period:

  • Beginning with the date of plan approval or our determination a plan is valid, and
  • Ending the 15th day after completion of the first academic quarter or three months' training.

If you choose Option 2 after starting Option 1

If you choose Option 2 after starting formal retraining under Option 1, your benefits will be reduced as follows:

  • Your training fund will be reduced by the amount of tuition and expenses expended during the Option 1 retraining plan.
  • Your 9-month vocational award will be reduced by any time-loss received since the beginning of the Option 1 retraining plan.