Mediation is a way to settle a dispute that:
- can help you and VRS staff solve disagreements about your needs and services
- uses a trained, neutral mediator to guide you to a solution everyone agrees to
VRS must pay for any mediator fees or other expenses. The mediators used for vocational rehabilitation mediation are found by the Vocational Rehabilitation Mediation Program Coordinator. The mediators are experienced in mediation and have some knowledge about vocational rehabilitation. They are not VRS employees.
Either you or VRS can ask for mediation. Mediation is voluntary. This means everyone must agree to it for it to happen. If both you and VRS agree to it, you and VRS sign a Request for Mediation form and send to the Mediation Office. You can get a form from your rehabilitation counselor or from the Client Assistance Project (CAP). For more about CAP, go to the last page of this fact sheet.
A session is be scheduled, and a mediator assigned. Most mediation sessions can be scheduled within 15-20 working days, and last about a half-day.
You can bring an advocate or representative with you to the mediation. VRS must bring someone who has the authority to make decisions. Either party can also bring persons who know what you need or who have specialized knowledge of the issues in your case. The parties must agree, however, on who can be at the mediation.
The mediation usually starts with an introduction. Then there is a chance for both parties to talk about the issues from their point of view. Next, there is a discussion of options for a solution. If you and VRS come to an agreement, the mediator helps you write it down and everyone gets a copy.
If you don’t come to an agreement at mediation you may want to try one of the other types of appeals.