Vocational rehabilitation benefits are designed for people who have been injured on the job and can no longer return to work in the same capacity after their injury. These benefits can help people rebuild job skills as part of recovering from an injury or illness.
After an injury, even after full recovery, a person may have physical or mental limitations that prevent them from returning to exactly the same job they used to have. For example, if a power-line worker is paralyzed in a fall while doing his or her job, he or she can no longer climb up to maintenance power lines. He or she would then need his or her employer, state, or workers’ comp insurer to help pay the cost of vocational rehabilitation.
The amount and types of rehabilitation vary depending on the state. Some services to which an injured worker are entitled could include some of the following:
- Education and tuition payments for retraining
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ASA) reasonable-accommodation assistance
- On-the-job training
- Transferable-skills analysis and testing
- Interview coaching
- Labor-market surveys
- Job-search assistance
- Wage-assessment evaluations
In many states employees are responsible for accepting appropriate vocational rehabilitation services, such as the requirement to cooperate with these efforts and make a valid attempt to return to suitable employment. Other states might not require workers to participate in either physical or vocational rehabilitation, though refusal to participate might affect eligibility for other benefits.
Likewise, employers might have statutory and regulatory responsibilities related to vocational rehabilitation, such as when a state requires an employer to offer rehabilitation counseling services to any employee who has injuries that result in a particular amount of lost time from work.
The laws regarding vocational rehabilitation can be complicated. If you have questions about your status as a recipient of workers’ compensation, don’t hesitate to call our skilled Santa Ana workers’ compensation attorneys. Ufkes & Bright has more than 50 years of combined legal experience to offer your case. Let us see how we can help.
Contact us at (714) 500-8661 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.