Vocational rehabilitation is a workers’ compensation benefit that helps employees with physical, psychological, emotional, or health impairment overcome barriers that often hinder them from returning or maintaining their jobs.
Sadly, a work-related injury can affect your ability to do your pre-injury work duties or completely prevent you from going back to your previous job. However, when this happens, vocational rehabilitation benefits can help you train for a new job.
But what is vocational rehabilitation, and how do you qualify for the program? Below, we explain vocational rehabilitation and how it is helping injured workers maintain their employment.
What Should You Expect from Vocational Rehabilitation?
Vocational rehabilitation is a workers’ compensation benefit that helps employees with physical, psychological, emotional, or health impairment overcome barriers that often hinder them from returning or maintaining their jobs. Here are some programs offered under vocational rehabilitation:
- Training – The workers’ compensation will include the training costs should you need any new skills to keep working at your old job. It also provides tuition cover to facilitate education for a new line of work. You can also be trained on how to live with the lifestyle changes that come with your injury.
- Job Placement – A vocational rehabilitation professional will help you identify skills that you could transfer into another line of work. They’ll also help you find a new job and prepare for the job interview. Some professionals even help you spruce up your resume.
- Occupational Counseling – A vocational rehabilitation counselor plays a vital role in getting you back to work and earning a living. They’ll help you learn more about your disability and how to live with it. Additionally, they’ll share with you education opportunities that can help you achieve your new career goals.
- Physical and Psychological Therapy – This includes treatment for psychological or mental diseases that result from injury-related trauma, physical therapy, and specialty therapies. In addition, should you need any prosthetics to regain meaningful employment, they’ll all be catered for here.
“Do I Qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation?”
The Missouri workers compensation law doesn’t require all employers and insurance providers to provide vocational rehabilitation to injured workers. Therefore, check beforehand if your employer or insurance provider does so. To be eligible for vocational rehabilitation, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have a physical or mental disability
- Your disability must cause you to perform your job below your potential
- There’s an expectation that vocational rehabilitation will help you regain your previous position or prepare you for a new job.
Why Vocational Rehabilitation?
Staying at home feeling helpless and living off your family can be depressing. However, vocational rehabilitation provides a chance for you to have gainful employment once again. It also gives you a sense of purpose and independence, which goes a long way in protecting your mental health. Additionally, it provides you with a new set of skills in handling job applications and new job interviews.
Ready to Go Back to Work?
Do you wish to return to work after an on-the-job injury? Vocational rehabilitation might be just what you need. For a smooth transition, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced attorneys at The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. We’ll walk you through the return-to-work process and advise you accordingly. Get in touch with us today!
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