Sometimes, after a work-related injury, it is tough to resume job duties. Imagine that you suffered an injury while working in a machine shop. The injury did damage to your hand, limiting your ability to perform the same duties you had before the accident. To return to work, you will have to learn a new skill. This is where vocational rehabilitation comes into play.
Under Illinois workers’ compensation law, you could be entitled to participate in a vocational rehabilitation program. While physical therapy helps people regain their abilities, strength and functionality after an injury, vocational rehabilitation is in place to help people learn new skills if they are unable to perform their former duties.
If you have suffered a work-related injury, you may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits including vocational rehabilitation. An experienced DuPage injury attorney can help you through the process of filing a claim for workers’ compensation or appealing a denial of benefits. Read further to learn more about your rights as an injured worker.
Vocational rehabilitation services
As a workers’ compensation recipient, you might qualify for several types of vocational rehabilitation programs. For example, you might receive on-the-job training, training in a new skill set, and even assistance finding a new job. Furthermore, there might be programs available to help you create a new resume or ensure you receive the support you need in the workplace to keep your employer compliant with the American with Disabilities Act.
If you accept vocational rehabilitation, you essentially agree to cooperate and participate in the prescribed or requested programs. You also agree to make a genuine attempt to return to the workforce as a result of the rehabilitation benefits you receive.
Your boss’s responsibilities
Not only must your employer offer you the opportunity to participate in a vocational rehabilitation program, he or she may also have to pay for certain additional expenses. For example, your employer might have to cover the costs of tuition, travel and general living expenses while you receive assistance reentering the workforce.
As an employee, you are entitled to certain rights within the workplace. This may include workers’ compensation benefits. While many injured workers are able to receive compensation for lost wages and medical expenses, you may also qualify for assistance through a vocational rehabilitation program.