Workers’ Compensation Benefits –Most Important Benefit: Vocational Rehabilitation
When you are seriously injured on your job and unable to return to that job when you have reached maximum medical improvement, the benefit of vocational rehabilitation may the most important benefit available to you other than the medical and temporary total benefits.
What is vocational rehabilitation? What does it do? How long does it last?
Here is an example of how vocational rehabilitation works. While working at your job site, an entire pallet of heavy 10 gallon cans falls on your shoulders. You require several surgeries and, when you are released back to work, you can no longer perform your job responsibilities because your doctor has release you with a “no heavy lifting” restriction. Therefore, you cannot return to that job.
As a result, through the benefit of vocational rehabilitation, you may be trained in a totally different occupation, such as becoming a Microsoft administrator by completing ten months of Microsoft coursework. You may also be assisted by a trained job placement counselor who may help you find a better job than you had prior to your work injury. The law does not, however, require your employer to train you for a higher paying job than the one you had but for a job at a comparable salary to the one you were earning at the time you were injured. You would also be paid the benefit called “temporary total” while you are receiving vocational rehabilitation services. This means that while you are being trained, you would be paid two-thirds of the gross salary you were earning at the time you were injured. See definition of temporary total. You do not pay income tax on temporary total benefits and many other salary continuation workers’ compensation benefits. The maximum period of time that you are permitted to receive vocational rehabilitation benefits is two years.
Over the years I have directed many of my clients to obtain vocational rehabilitation benefits that have led to successful outcomes.
Fredric Antenberg is a workers’ compensation attorney working in Howard County, Maryland, and in surrounding counties in Maryland. Call Fred today for an appointment at 410 730 4404.