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Vocational Rehabilitation Can Be Part of Workers' Compensation

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Vocational Rehabilitation Can Be Part of Workers Compensation

When you suffer a serious injury at work that forces you to miss time, your goal may be to eventually return to your job. In some cases, disabled workers are unable to recover to the point that they can perform their jobs. Workers who suffer Permanent Partial Disability or Permanent Total Disability can receive workers’ compensation benefits that are meant to replace their permanent loss of income. However, the weekly benefits payments are less than what they earned at their jobs. In order to find a new job, people with permanent disabilities can use vocational rehabilitation.

Training for a New Career

Your disability may prevent you from doing the same type of work as before, but you may be able to find a job that uses a set of skills that fits within your limitations. A vocational rehabilitation counselor can advise you on careers you can pursue. To enter a new job field, you may need to learn new skills by going to school or participating in a vocational training program.

Job Search Assistance

Once you are ready to start your new career, your vocational rehabilitation counselor can guide you through the job search process. People with disabilities have unique concerns when looking for employment, such as:

  • How will my potential employer react to my disability?
  • How do I explain my disability?
  • Will my job be able to accommodate my disability?

A job search is stressful enough without worrying about how your disability will affect it. A vocational rehabilitation counselor is trained to address these challenges and help people with disabilities find meaningful employment.

Paying for Services

Vocational rehabilitation services are helpful but cost money. Fortunately, your employer can be required to pay for the services and related expenses as part of your workers’ compensation settlement. An arbitrator will determine whether vocational rehabilitation should be included in your compensation. In order to prove that it is necessary, you may need to show that:

  • Your disability has diminished your earning capacity;
  • You searched for a job in your previous career field but were unsuccessful;
  • You are physically capable of obtaining employment in another field; and
  • Vocational rehabilitation is needed in order to get a job in a new field.

Negotiating Compensation

A workers’ compensation insurer may try to prevent you from receiving any money as a result of your workplace injury. A McHenry County workers’ compensation attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can fight for the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

Source: http://www.iwcc.il.gov/fslaw.pdf

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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