What is Vocational Rehabilitation for Workers’ Comp?
If you’re injured at work and you’re unable to go back toyour previous job, either for a long time or permanently, you might be referredto vocational rehabilitation. “Vocational rehabilitation” is a longer way ofsaying a program that helps you find a job or trains you on something new soyou can find a job doing the new thing.
Vocational rehabilitation may come as part of doing light duty work, whichis when your doctor says you can work after you were hurt at work, but youcannot do your previous job. A person from a vocational rehabilitation servicemay meet with you to discuss the type of work you were doing and find outskills you have from your previous job that you can use at a different job. Forexample you may have experience as a supervisor managing other employees, orhandling many different requests, or following a complex process with highstakes. All of these examples are transferrable skills, or skills that you canuse at lots of different jobs. The vocational rehabilitation services will workwith you to find those jobs.
The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission has a longlist of guidelines for vocational rehabilitation services to protect you. Theservices are required to pay attention to what your previous job was, how muchmoney you were paid, what you’re likely to be successful at, time and effort toget to work, as well as how much time, effort, and cost would have to happen ifyou’re trained in a new type of job.
The Commission also has a lot of guidelines to make surethat the vocational rehabilitation services don’t try to bother you as you’rerecovering: they can chat with you while you’re recovering, but can’t ask you tostart a training program for a new job until your doctor says you’re allowed towork. The services are supposed to meet you at a reasonable place and take yourmedical appointments into consideration when scheduling, are supposed to onlycall during the day, and to give you at least two days notice of meetings andjob interviews.
Your HammondTownsend attorney is allowed to be there whenyou first meet with a vocational rehabilitation service, and you are allowed totalk with your attorney about the process at any time if you have questions.
You can submit for reimbursement for mileage, photocopying,postage, and other expenses related to the vocational rehabilitation program.
You must cooperate with the vocational rehabilitationservice and show you’re trying to get work, or your workers’ compensation benefitsmay be stopped.
Call HammondTownsend today at 888-580-9048 today for a freeworkers’ compensation consultation. We’ll walk you through every step of theprocess and be there for you if you need to navigate the vocationalrehabilitation program.
HammondTownsend is a Virginia workers' compensationlaw firm with offices located in Manassas, Richmond, Roanoke, Harrisonburg,Fishersville and Charlottesville.
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