Although the term rehabilitation usually engenders thoughts of recovering from an injury, when it comes to workplace injuries, rehabilitation also incorporates the notion of helping injured workers be prepared to go back to work so that they can earn a living; this latter notion of rehabilitation is known as vocational rehabilitation and typically comes into play when an injured worker is no longer able to return to his previous job due to the nature of his injury.
For many people, the idea of having to completely learn a new occupation – especially if they have been at their former job for years (or even decades) – can be a stressful and potentially frightening notion. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, in these situations, there will be a number of resources available to injured workers that can help train and prepare them to start a new job and possibly enter a new industry.
In the process of determining what vocational rehabilitation resources are available to an injured worker (at the expense of a former employer and/or the former employer’s insurance company), some of the primary factors that will be taken into consideration will include the nature and extent of the injuries sustained, as well as the worker’s current skill set. Following this assessment, the following resources may be made available to the injured worker seeking vocational rehabilitation:
- Aptitude testing and thorough skills evaluation (to see what career options may be best suited for the worker)
- Education and training for a new career
- Job search assistance, interview counseling and resume assistance
The employee’s responsibility in receiving vocational rehabilitation is to accept and participate in the services offered (i.e., to show that he is eager to learn the new skills necessary to make a career change that would allow him to earn a living). While employees can refuse vocational rehabilitation services, doing so could not only preclude them from finding a new job, but it could also result in their workers compensation benefits being drastically reduced – if not suspended entirely.
If you have sustained a workplace injury and are considering (or in the process of) filing a workers compensation claim, it’s essential that you contact the Colorado workers compensation lawyers at the Law Office of Michael P. Dominick. Our legal professionals have a proven track record of success when it comes to securing our Clients the maximum possible compensation for their injuries, including any potential vocational rehabilitation benefits available. For a thorough evaluation of your case, along with expert advice on the best manner in which to move forward, call us at (303) 447-2644.