Seeking Compensation for Vocational Rehabilitation through Workers’ Compensation
Sometimes, an individual injured in a workplace accident cannot return to the job he or she once performed. This is generally an issue in jobs that require physical efforts, such as manufacturing and construction jobs. Being unable to return to work after an injury can be a scary thought, especially for individuals who have to provide for their families. To keep injury victims from having to give up their careers because of their injuries, the Workers’ Compensation Board provides vocational rehabilitation resources to help claimants learn new skills to re-enter the workforce in positions they can perform.
Vocational rehabilitation is more than just job training. It is a comprehensive service that provides career counseling to Workers’ Compensation claimants. In some cases, a claimant can be placed in a job that fits his or her abilities with the injury through a selective placement program.
When is Vocational Rehabilitation Necessary?
Vocational rehabilitation is often necessary when an individual suffers an injury that prevents him or her from performing the job he or she previously held. Losing the ability to perform self-sustaining work can create a financial burden on an individual, especially if he or she is fairly young when the injury occurs and cannot simply retire early.
Vocational rehabilitation involves more than determining a job the individual can physically perform. Often, individuals in this position do not have the skill set to start again in a new field and must learn these skills. In most cases, vocational rehabilitation is optional for Workers’ Compensation claimants. If the claimant receives a 50 percent or greater scheduled loss of use award, which is applicable in cases where the victim loses a limb, extremity, or suffers hearing or vision loss, vocational rehabilitation is mandatory.
Which Industries Tend to Offer Vocational Rehabilitation?
Vocational rehabilitation is available to injured workers in any industry. All Workers’ Compensation claimants are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity, which can provide you with help finding a job, referrals to jobs, training to develop applicable skills for a new career, and disability services like interpreter or reader services if you need them. Part of vocational rehabilitation is determining the best way to return to work, which can mean transferring your skill set to a new position or working in a different environment.
Generally, individuals in physically demanding jobs are more likely to suffer severe and permanent injuries that make it impossible to return to work. Individuals working in very loud environments have a greater risk of suffering hearing loss than those in quieter environments and individuals who work with heavy machinery can risk losing hands and fingers in accidents at work.
Work with an Experienced New York Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
To learn more about vocational rehabilitation and other Workers’ Compensation benefits, contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer at The Robert A. Koenigsberg Law Office to schedule your initial consultation. During the consultation, we can discuss vocational rehabilitation as well as the other benefits you are entitled to receive through your Workers’ Compensation claim.