Vocational rehabilitation counselors (VRC) are “independent” contractors hired by L&I to assist with determining if you can work and to identify, and remove, any return-to-work barriers. You must cooperate with the VRC or risk suspension of benefits for being non-cooperative. Keep in mind, they are responsible to L&I and not to you. Even though they are required to be objective and impartial, in may not seem like it at times. Vocational benefits are one of the largest benefits offered under workers’ compensation and they are not easily granted. Most workers are found able to work and had their claim closed prematurely. If a vocational counselor is contacting you, that is a good time to get legal help and to protect your rights.