When a worker suffers a job-related injury, his or her employer may be on the hook for several different kinds of care through workers' compensation. One of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of workers' compensation claims are the opportunities a worker may have to use vocational rehabilitation if the injury significantly affects the worker's ability to perform one's job.
Vocational rehabilitation is a broad term that covers many different forms of assistance that a worker may use to transition to a new type of employment. Depending on the nature of the injury and the existing skills and qualifications of the injured worker, vocational rehabilitation may offer a wide array of assistance in training for other positions with the same employer or even seeking work somewhere else.
If you recently suffered a work-related injury, then you understand just how important it is to get back to the workplace effectively and efficiently. An experienced attorney can help you assess your injury so that you understand the full scope of recovery and guide you as you fight for fair treatment and complete compensation for your claim.
Many kinds of rehabilitation
"Rehabilitation" is a word often used to describe the process of recovering from physical harm, and it does apply in that way to workplace injuries. However, this term also applies to the process of reconditioning an employee so that he or she may obtain employment if an injury precludes returning to the same position with the same employer. This includes a significant number of different opportunities, such as:
- Identifying other fields of work that may be a good fit for the injured employee
- Providing training for a new position or type of work
- Assistance building a resume
- Assistance searching for employment
- Financial assistance to pay for vocational training or further education
- Assessments of other career opportunities and stability in the job market
- Management of an injured employee's medical case
- Training on the job
The burden of the employee to participate
If an employer offers certain kinds of vocational rehabilitation and an injured employee does not participate in the rehabilitation made available, doing so may prove disadvantageous. Often, refusing to participate in vocational rehabilitation may result in the insurance provider handling the workers' compensation claim penalizing the employee by reducing payout of benefits during the period of time that the employee refuses participation.
Protect your future now
The sooner that you understand all the options you have available, the sooner you can demand exactly the help and guidance that you need to recover physically and professionally from your injury. Your future physical health and your career may depend on navigating your workers' compensation claim effectively, so it is wise to use all the tools you have to make your recovery all it can be.