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Recognition of Disabled Worker Status (RQTH): Your Rights and Benefits for Better Vocational Integration

In the field of occupational health, Recognition of Disabled Worker Status (RQTH) is an essential element that opens the door to a range of advantages aimed at facilitating vocational integration, maintaining employment, or even transitioning into retirement for individuals with disabilities.

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In this article, we will explore in detail what RQTH means, the benefits it entails, and the steps to obtain it.

Disability, as defined by the law, is characterized by any limitation of activity or restriction of participation in society experienced by an individual in their environment due to a substantial, enduring, or permanent impairment of one or more physical, sensory, mental, cognitive, or psychological functions, multiple disabilities, or a disabling health condition. For a more rigorous approach, the International Classification of Functioning is utilized.

Advantages for Disabled Workers

RQTH is an administrative decision that grants individuals with disabilities a specific status, allowing them to benefit from tailored assistance. This recognition also includes guidance toward the labor market, which can take various forms:

  • Regular workplace.
  • Adapted enterprises.
  • Work Assistance Establishments (ESAT).
  • Pre-orientation or vocational rehabilitation centers.

The Social and Economic Committee (CSE) acts as an advisory council on measures related to disabled workers, especially concerning workplace accommodations. However, it’s important to note that the CSE does not address individual cases. Unless stated otherwise, information is available in the economic, social, and environmental database (BDESE).

Companies with more than 250 employees are required to have a disability liaison, responsible for guiding, informing, and supporting individuals with disabilities. They may also participate in liaison meetings.

The AGEFIPH (Association for the Management of the Fund for the Vocational Integration of Disabled Persons) plays an essential role by providing financial assistance to employers and individuals with disabilities to promote vocational integration and employment retention.

Rights of Disabled Workers in Regular Work Environments

Employees with disabilities working in regular environments enjoy the same rights and obligations as their colleagues without disabilities. However, specific provisions are in place to ensure their professional development:

  • Workstations, sanitary facilities, and dining areas must be adapted to accommodate the disability.
  • Employers with over 5,000 employees must provide vocational retraining and professional rehabilitation for disabled employees who have had to interrupt their work due to an accident or illness.
  • Workers, whether disabled or not, declared unfit for work by the occupational physician or identified as at risk of unfitness during the pre-return visit, may benefit from an In-Company Vocational Rehabilitation Agreement (CRPE) to reintegrate into their profession or change careers.
  • It is strictly prohibited to terminate employment due to disability, unless declared unfit by the occupational physician. In cases where the cause of termination is unrelated to the disability, certain conditions must be met.

Individuals with disabilities are entitled to various social and tax benefits, including:

  • Disabled Adult Allowance (AAH).
  • Disability Compensation Benefit (PCH).
  • Disabled Child Education Allowance (AEEH).

To access these benefits, it is necessary to apply to the Departmental House of Disabled Persons (MDPH).

The RQTH application and renewal procedure

The application for Recognition of Disabled Worker Status (RQTH) must be submitted to the MDPH using the appropriate form. This application should be accompanied by a medical certificate from the treating physician, dated within the last year, a copy of identification, and proof of address. The application can be made by the individual with disabilities or their legal representative.

In cases of potential unfitness or termination related to disability, an expedited request can be initiated with the involvement of the occupational physician, who fills out a specific medical form.

The evaluation of the RQTH request and vocational orientation is carried out by a multidisciplinary team within the MDPH. Based on this assessment, recommendations are formalized in a Personal Compensation Plan (PPC). The final decision to grant RQTH is made by the Commission for the Rights and Autonomy of Disabled Persons (CDAPH), taking the PPC into account. The decision specifies the duration of RQTH, which can be granted for a specific period (from 1 to 10 years) or on a permanent basis.

Recognition of Disabled Worker Status (RQTH) is not a one-time process. It can be renewed as needed. If RQTH is granted for life, there is no need to request renewal.

In conclusion:

RQTH is a powerful tool for facilitating vocational integration and employment retention for individuals with disabilities. It opens the door to a range of measures aimed at adapting the work environment, promoting accessibility, and ensuring equal opportunities. If you have a disability, do not hesitate to initiate the process of applying for RQTH to access these essential benefits.

Philippe Casanova

Specialist in occupational medicine and forensic medicine.