IL Workers Comp Vocational Rehab
Injured workers are eligible for vocational rehabilitation benefits under Illinois law if they cannot perform their regular occupation because of a work-related injury. These benefits include medical treatment, training, counseling, and education. However, employers are not required to provide vocational rehabilitation benefits; it is up to each employer to decide whether to offer such services.
If you suffered a work injury and are seeking workers' compensation benefits for your damages, contact the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, to maximize your vocational rehabilitation benefits based on your employer's insurance company policy.
Call our Illinois workers' compensation lawyers at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation. All information you share about your current or previous job remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Participating in a vocational rehabilitation program may be necessary if an injured worker is unable or unwilling to return to their job position due to long-term or permanent injuries. Sometimes, based on the employee's earning capacity and work skills from their original job, they may be available to participate in a light-duty job on a part-time basis or as full-time work.
This includes vocational rehabilitation retraining or learning new skills to help the worker find employment in another field.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Services Administration administers federal vocational rehabilitation programs. There are three main types of vocational rehabilitation benefits for injured workers after an accident occurred, including:
- Supported Employment: A program to assist individuals with disabilities to become self-sufficient workforce members.
- Job Search Assistance: An individualized plan to help people with disabilities find jobs.
- Independent Living Skills: Helping individuals with disabilities learn how to live independently.
Workers' Compensation Vocational Rehabilitation Training
Workers' compensation vocational rehab programs are often confusing because of the many different options. For example, some states provide vocational training benefits to injured workers while others do not. In addition, some states offer vocational rehab services to individuals eligible for Social Security disability benefits, while others do not.
Workplace training is one of the most critical forms of vocational rehabilitation. When recovering, you must learn how to perform essential tasks like operating machinery safely, performing manual labor, or doing office work.
If you don't receive workplace training during your recovery period, you could lose out on future employment opportunities with your current employer or another company. The services provided during employee training should involve the education needed to obtain suitable employment.
Resume And Job Application Services
Some states require employers to cover certain vocational rehabilitation costs associated with hiring someone who has been disabled. These costs might include resume preparation, interview coaching, or job application services. Many times, the employers' insurance company will cover these costs.
However, you may still be able to obtain these services from a vocational rehabilitation agency due to your injuries that lead to diminished job security.
If you've had surgery or another medical procedure, you'll want to ensure that you're ready for job interviews. Employers usually ask questions such as "How well did you recover from your injuries?" or "What accommodations did you use to complete your duties at work?"
You may benefit from having a professional coach to help prepare you for these questions, either before or after receiving vocational training.
Other Workers' Compensation Benefits
Illinois employers must pay certain medical care and rehabilitation costs incurred by injured employees under the state's Workers' Compensation Act.
These include medical and rehabilitative expenses; temporary total disability benefits equal to 2/3 of the employee's average weekly wages if the employee is unable to work during recovery; and temporary partial permanent disability benefits equal to 2/3 of the difference between the employee's average earnings before the injury and the employee's current earning capacity.
If the employee suffers a permanent total disability, employers must pay lifetime Workers' Compensation benefits equivalent to 66% of the employee's average annual earnings.
When an Illinois Injured Employee Qualifies for Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
The Illinois Workers Compensation Act provides certain benefits to injured workers who cannot perform their former jobs due to a workplace accident. In most Illinois workers' compensation cases, the benefits provided by the employer's insurance company based on the disabilities act include:
- Medical care
- Temporary total disability payments
- Permanent partial disability payments
- Vocational training and rehabilitation plan assistance for job placement
- Maintenance costs and tuition payments
- Resume writing assistance
- Counseling for job searches
- Payment of reasonable living expenses while the employee recovers
If you qualify for one of these benefits, it is vital to understand each one and how long it lasts.
Illinois Law on Vocational Rehabilitation Services for an Injured Worker
For example, under Section 8(a)(1) of the Act, an employer must provide "reasonable accommodations to enable a disabled employee to continue working." According to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, accommodations include, among other things, providing a special desk, chair, or other equipment necessary to allow the injured worker to complete his or her duties.
Temporary total disability benefits begin immediately upon receipt of a claim and end once the injured employee reaches maximum medical improvement, which usually occurs within six months of the date of injury.
Once the employee returns to work, they are entitled to receive permanent partial disability benefits based on the percentage of impairment caused by the injury.
These workers' compensation benefits are paid for up to three years unless the claimant experiences another compensable injury. The benefits are extended for five additional years. After receiving these benefits, the injured worker qualifies for vocational rehab services.
Contact an Illinois Workers' Compensation Lawyer
It could be challenging for injured employees to determine whether they have been treated fairly by their employers or insurance carriers in case of a payment dispute on compensation and maintenance benefits.
Without assistance from a vocational counselor or personal injury attorney, the employee is unfamiliar with the law or does not know where to seek help involving their employer's insurance carrier.
Did you suffer a work-related injury while employed in Illinois? You are likely entitled to medical treatment and compensation under the state's workers' compensation laws.
However, many injured workers do not understand how much of their recovery depends upon the type of legal representation they obtain while obtaining disability payments.
Free Legal Consultations
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, we offer our clients compassionate care throughout every process – from initial consultations to appeals and beyond.
Our workers compensation attorneys help every client navigate their workers' compensation case resolving their personal injury litigation. Contact us at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form for a free legal consultation.
Our workers' compensation attorneys comprehensively understand Illinois workers' compensation laws and insurance companies to ensure our clients receive every benefit possible. Our lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, so you don't have to settle any attorney fee for our legal services unless we win your case.