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What is vocational rehabilitation through workers’ compensation?

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2023 | Firm News

When Maryland workers are injured on the job, workers’ compensation can be a key part of staying on their feet financially while getting them the medical care they need. However, once they have recovered as much as possible, they might not be able to do the same type of work they did before. In these situations, vocational rehabilitation is an essential part of the process.

Keys with vocational rehabilitation

Workers who need training to do a different job can receive it through vocational rehabilitation. Those who are prevented from doing the same work they did before the injury are generally eligible for this type of training. The insurer or the Workers’ Compensation Commission must approve it before it can be given. In some cases, it is refused and the worker will need to ask for a hearing.

There is a timeline for vocational rehabilitation. It includes the worker having an interview with the counselor discussing their physical abilities, work experience and other factors that will impact a job search. Next is a plan to achieve the objective of getting them back to work. Third, there will be an agreement regarding the goals and how they can be achieved. Fourth, the plan needs to be approved so the job search can start.

When there are no suitable jobs in the area that fit the worker’s skills, they can move forward with retraining. The worker can receive up to two years of training. The course itself might not take that long. In some instances, the worker can go back to work for the previous employer with different duties. The wages will be as close as possible to what the person earned before, but it is not guaranteed.

Workers can choose the type of employment they want and the training can be for that kind of work. The Temporary Total Disability payments will continue while taking part in the new training program.

Injured workers have options

Workers’ compensation has many layers and people who have been injured on the job, are seeking benefits or already have the benefits and need to know about vocational rehabilitation. People who are not permanently disabled but are limited in what they can do may need this type of training. Knowing how to receive it is imperative.