If you suffered a serious injury on the job, you may be grateful for the benefits you have received through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp likely covered your medical bills, supplied a portion of your lost wages and covered the cost of physical therapy. This took a load off your mind and prevented your family from struggling while you got well.
The ideal goal of workers’ compensation is to assist you during your recovery so you can get back on the job as quickly as possible. However, if your injuries were so severe that you will probably not be returning to your old job, you may qualify for an additional workers’ compensation benefit: vocational rehabilitation.
What can I expect?
As difficult as it may be to realize you cannot go back to the job you had before the accident, you certainly want to find work you can do with your new reality. Through vocational rehabilitation, you will have the assistance of many professionals and access to resources that will broaden your options for employment. While the opportunities for various kinds of rehabilitation are different in every state, some of the common services include the following:
- Analysis of your job skills, especially those that transfer from your previous job
- Comparison of your skills to the current job market
- Assistance with resume writing and interview techniques
- Help with job search and applications
- Assessment of your ergonomic needs based on your injuries
- Information about the reasonable accommodations you may request under the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Tuition for continued education or training for new skills
- Child care or transportation
- On-the-job training
It is important that you understand the laws for workers’ compensation in New York. If you are unable to return to your previous job, you may risk losing your benefits by refusing to accept vocational rehabilitation. It is possible that your employer has a position that will suit your skills in light of your permanent injuries, and you may have an obligation to accept the job if you wish to continue receiving benefits.
Since you have much at stake when dealing with workers’ compensation, you would be wise to find experienced assistance and reliable answers to your questions. You may find both if you reach out to a New York attorney who is dedicated to helping injured workers obtain the maximum benefits they deserve.