Under workers compensation laws, there are a few different types of benefits an injured worker can utilize, including vocational rehabilitation benefits. Not all injuries allow for a full recovery. All too often injured workers are prevented from returning to their practiced line of work. A back injury could end the career of a construction worker, or the loss of a limb could stop hands-on laborers from returning to the same type of work. Regardless of the line of work or the type of injury, when a workplace injury prevents a worker from returning to the same type of work, they may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation.
The types of benefits available under vocational rehabilitation, a type of workers’ compensation, can vary greatly depending on the needs of the injured worker. The goal of vocational rehabilitation benefits is to support impaired workers, providing them with the skills and training necessary to either return to their previous job or prepare for a new career path. The preparation for a new job may mean a new position within the same company, another position within the same field, or another occupation altogether. The goal, however, is to see that the injured worker can find employment that offers similar pay to that of the job he or she is no longer able to work.
Vocational rehabilitation benefits will typically look different for each worker because it depends on the needs, skills, and desires of each person. Typically, these services will evaluate the workers’ skills and provide help with job placement, including resume assistance, career counseling, and job training. This may also include additional education if the new work path requires it. In California, these benefits will typically come in the form of a voucher for $6,000, which can be used towards whichever state-approved vocational rehabilitation services the worker deems necessary.
These benefits can be utilized on a small or large scale, depending on the needs of the injured worker. If for example, a worker injured his hand at work he could use vocational rehabilitation benefits to acquire a new keyboard or mouse. Or, if a worker was more seriously injured, he or she could use the benefits to train for a new position within the company.
To schedule a free consultation with our workers’ compensation lawyers, contact Alvandi Law Group, P.C. in Orange County.