§18527. Rehabilitation

Link to law: http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/statutes/5/title5sec18527.html
Published: 2015

§18527. Rehabilitation






Upon agreement of the executive director and the person, rehabilitation services may
be provided to any person who is the recipient of a disability retirement benefit
under this article as a means to the person being able to return to substantially
gainful activity. As a condition of entering into an agreement to provide rehabilitation
services, the executive director must determine that rehabilitation is feasible, that
rehabilitation is consistent with the purposes of this article, that the recipient
is suitable for rehabilitation services and that rehabilitation services are likely
to lead to substantially gainful activity. When appropriate, determination of suitability
must include consultation with the medical board to determine any medical indications
that the recipient should not engage in a rehabilitation program or to identify a
recipient too severely disabled to benefit from rehabilitation services in accordance
with the purposes of this article. Services must be provided by private and public
rehabilitation counselors, government agencies and others approved by the executive
director as qualified to provide rehabilitation services. The executive director
shall consider a rehabilitation counselor's rate of successfully placing rehabilitated
employees in jobs relative to the placement rates of other counselors in the State
as fundamental in deciding whether to approve the counselor as qualified. This section
does not affect the ongoing requirement that a person remain disabled in order to
continue to receive disability benefits. [2003, c. 387, §11 (AMD).]






For the purposes of this section, "person" means any person who is the recipient of
a disability retirement benefit. [2003, c. 387, §11 (NEW).]








1. Rehabilitation plan. 
If the executive director makes the determinations necessary to provide rehabilitation
services under this section and rehabilitation is agreed to by the parties, the retirement
system shall designate a rehabilitation provider to evaluate the person and develop
a rehabilitation plan.


[
2003, c. 387, §11 (AMD)
.]








2. Costs. 
The executive director may contract with rehabilitation providers to develop and
carry out approved rehabilitation plans.





A. Except as provided in paragraph B, the executive director shall pay these providers
from funds accumulated in the Retirement Allowance Fund, established under section
17251. [2003, c. 387, §11 (AMD).]










B. If the person is entitled to other benefits to meet the cost of rehabilitation services,
that person must first apply for and use those benefits to the extent available to
pay for the goods and services provided. [1989, c. 409, §§11, 12 (NEW).]







[
2003, c. 387, §11 (AMD)
.]








3. Approval of rehabilitation plan. 
The executive director and the person shall approve any rehabilitation plan developed
under subsection 1 and shall indicate in writing their approval of and agreement to
the rehabilitation plan. The person shall approve the plan within 30 days or, within
that time period, submit to the executive director the name of an alternate provider
for the executive director's consideration. If the rehabilitation plan includes return
to employment with the employer for whom the person worked before becoming disabled,
the employer shall also indicate in writing approval of the plan.


[
2003, c. 387, §11 (AMD)
.]








4. Decline of rehabilitation. 




[
2003, c. 387, §11 (RP)
.]








5. Monitoring of rehabilitation plan. 
Each rehabilitation plan approved by the executive director shall contain a provision
for periodic review of progress being made by the person toward achieving the goal
of the plan and substantially gainful activity. The provision relating to review
must include authority for the executive director to terminate the plan or to amend
the plan with the same provider or with a change of provider, based upon results of
the review or at the request of the person or the provider. Subsections 1, 2 and
3 apply to any amended plans under this subsection. A person is entitled to a single
rehabilitation plan during the course of the person's incapacity, except when the
person demonstrates that a termination of the plan was reasonable and for good cause.
Any entitlement to amend a rehabilitation plan or establish a new plan ends with a
determination by the executive director that the person is no longer disabled.


[
2003, c. 387, §11 (AMD)
.]








6. Return to service. 
If the rehabilitation plan includes return to employment with the person's former
employer, that person must be reemployed in accordance with the plan. The executive
director shall notify the former employer, in writing, that the person has completed
the rehabilitation plan and is ready to return to employment. The former employer
shall reemploy the person in the first available position for which that person is
qualified, taking into consideration that person's prior compensation and benefits,
training, education and experience, including training and education received under
that person's rehabilitation plan.


[
2003, c. 387, §11 (AMD)
.]








7. Other employment under system. 
A person is not required to accept employment that reasonably necessitates relocation
or for which the person is not qualified, taking into consideration that person's
prior compensation and benefits, training, education and experience, including training
and education received under that person's rehabilitation plan. The disability retirement
benefit may not be discontinued except as provided by section 18529 or until the person
is reemployed consistent with this section.


[
2003, c. 387, §11 (AMD)
.]





SECTION HISTORY

1989, c. 409, §§11,12 (NEW).
1991, c. 580, §§15,16 (AMD).
1995, c. 643, §§24,25 (AMD).
2003, c. 387, §11 (AMD).
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