Vocational Rehabilitation In Illinois Workers’ Compensation Cases
After suffering a work-related injury in Illinois, you can recover workers’ compensation benefits from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider. After suffering an injury while on the job in Illinois, some of the benefits that are a part of almost every workers’ compensation claim that you may be entitled to include medical expenses and lost wages. Depending on your case’s specifics, you may also be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits. Usually, injured employees are entitled to vocational rehabilitation services if they suffer an injury that reduces their job abilities. Keep reading to learn about vocational rehabilitation in Illinois workers’ compensation cases.
Understanding the Meaning of Vocational Rehabilitation
If an employee suffers a severe work-related injury that leaves them with serious mental and/or physical limitations that prevent them from performing the job duties they were performing before their accident, the employee may be entitled to receive vocational rehabilitation services. Simply put, these are services meant to help a severely injured employee return to the workforce. Vocational rehabilitation is designed to return injured workers to work within their mental and physical capabilities. This form of rehabilitation exists to limit an injured employee’s loss of earning capacity.
The following are some of the services provided through vocational rehabilitation;
- Analysis of current physical, vocational, intellectual, and emotional skills to determine earning capacity and options
- Career counseling
- Transportation to a college or work during rehabilitation
- Consultation with employers concerning job modification and accommodations
- Preparation for job searches
- On-the-job training
Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. There are a lot more services provided through vocational rehabilitation.
What Responsibility Do Employers Have in Regards to Vocational Rehabilitation?
Under Illinois law, if an accident renders an employee unable to continue performing their previous job duties, an employer is required to pay for vocational rehabilitation. An employer is required to pay for rehabilitation in addition to other benefits such as lost wages and medical expenses. However, certain factors are considered when determining whether vocational rehabilitation is warranted. Some of the factors that determine whether an employee is entitled to vocational rehabilitation include;
- Training capability due to education and age
- Whether the employee’s current skills and education can help them find a new job without the need for training
- Employee’s work-life expectancy
- Employee’s motivation and ability to go through the necessary vocational training program
- Costs of the chosen vocational training program
- The likelihood of finding a job in that field after the training is complete.
What To Do if Disputes Arise
Suppose you are awarded vocational rehabilitation benefits after suffering a work-related injury and filing a workers’ compensation claim, but the insurance company refuses to provide these benefits. You have options in such a case. For instance, you can ask the court to help resolve the issue. You can also proceed and receive the training while petitioning the court for payment. A qualified workers’ compensation attorney can advise you accordingly.
Contact a Chicago Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you sustained an injury in Illinois while on the job, contact an experienced and dedicated Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer at Connolly Injury Law. We can help you recover the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.