Vocational RehabilitationMay 30, 2018
As part of an employee’s Workers’ Compensation benefits in Maryland, an injured worker is entitled to vocational rehabilitation if he or she is no longer able to fulfill their job responsibilities. In an effort to help injured workers return to the workforce in some capacity, a vocational rehabilitation specialist can provide a range of services, including testing, job placement, vocational counseling, and job training. An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can address all of your questions and concerns about the vocational rehabilitation process, so that you can get back to work as soon as possible.
Before you can begin to receive vocational rehabilitation services, you must obtain approval from your Workers’ Compensation insurer or the Commission. If they agree that you are a candidate for rehabilitation, you will be assigned to a vocational rehabilitation specialist. If the insurer denies your request for vocational rehab, your lawyer will need to request a hearing before the Commissioner, who will determine whether you are a candidate for the services.
Vocational Rehabilitation Process
The following steps make up the vocational rehabilitation process:
- Interview with the counselor. During the initial visit, the counselor will discuss your medical history, including any physical limitations, work experience, and personal interests that could impact your employability.
- Developing a plan and establishing goals. The counselor will come up with a personalized plan and identify realistic goals that are tailored to your needs.
- Obtain agreement. All parties involved must agree that the plan and the goals are acceptable. If any party disagrees, the details of the agreement must be presented to the Commissioner, who will determine the appropriateness of the plan.
- Once the Commission has approved the plan, you may begin to pursue job training with the help of your counselor.
In some cases, there may not be jobs available for which you are a suitable candidate. In this situation, you may be eligible for retraining. Depending on the course that you choose to pursue, once retraining is approved, there is a maximum of two years, although you may only require several months to a year.
As part of the vocational rehabilitation services, the counselor’s goal is to find a job that has the same salary as your previous job. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, for a number of reasons. For example, if you are starting a different job that you are newly qualified to do, you may need to establish yourself as a valuable employee before you can match the salary you were making before you were injured.
You will receive vocational rehabilitation benefits at your temporary total disability rate while you are pursuing new job opportunities, as long as you were referred for rehabilitation services.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Injured Workers Claim All Entitled Benefits
If you have been injured on the job and can no longer perform your pre-injury job responsibilities, the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help. We will work closely with you to ensure that you receive the full benefits that you are entitled to, including vocational rehabilitation services. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.