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Vocational Rehabilitation and Injured Employees

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

vocational rehabilitation, Crystal Lake Workers' Compensation LawyerIf an employee is injured on the job, his or her ability to return often depends on the type of work that he or she performed. If the injuries are severe enough that the employee cannot return to his or her old duties, the employer may agree to allow the worker to return to a modified position. Sometimes employers may seek to transition the employee out of his or her position all together, and in these cases, the employer may be required to pay for the physical, mental, and vocational rehabilitation of the employee.

Vocational rehabilitation is a process through which the employee receives job training, which can include skills training, resume writing, or even tuition reimbursement to assist the injured employee to return to school and gain new skills to re-enter the workforce.

Employers are required to pay for any qualifying vocational rehabilitation, as well as any incidental expenses to the vocational rehabilitation. Employees do not need to apply for vocational rehabilitation, and their employers should begin the process if the employee has been out of work for over 120 continuous days or as soon as it is clear that the employee cannot return to his or her former duties.

Employees who may qualify for vocational rehabilitation services are assigned a vocational rehabilitation counselor to assist with job searches, and determine if further training is required. A vocational rehabilitation counselor can help an employee by evaluating his or her ability to find work and determining the rate of pay he or she may be able to receive. The vocational rehabilitation counselor should be able to provide the employee with a vocational rehabilitation plan, and will keep records on the employee's cooperation with the developed plan. Employees should do their best to cooperate with vocational counselors when undergoing vocational rehabilitation and counseling.

An employee may lose benefits if it is determined that he or she is failing to cooperate with the job search or other rehabilitative measures. However, some vocational rehabilitators, who are hired by the employer, can try to get the employee to settle for a minimum wage job or other disadvantageous employment situation, even when the position is below the employee's earning potential.

It is important for an employee to keep in mind that cooperation does not necessarily mean taking every position offered. If you are unsure of what to expect before meeting with your vocational rehabilitation counselor, or of the plan the vocational rehabilitation counselor is suggesting for your case, you can consult a workers' compensation attorney.

Contact an Experienced Workers' Compensation Attorney

If you suffered a work-related injury, you should consult an experienced workers' compensation attorney to discuss the benefits you may be eligible to receive. Contact the Crystal Lake workers' compensation attorneys at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC for a free consultation and to learn how we can help you.



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