Vocational Rehabilitation – Connecticut Injury Lawyers
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Vocational Rehabilitation

When injured on the job, you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits may provide coverage for your medical care and treatment, as well as replace your lost earnings and pay for any permanent impairments to your injured body part(s). You might be aware of these benefits. However, you may not also know that workers’ compensation coverage also provides for vocational rehabilitation for many injured workers. The vocational rehabilitation service is designed to assist injured workers in overcoming any permanent and substantial loss of earning power sustained because of their workplace injury or illness. Any injured workers who suffered a permanent limitation that prevents them from doing their previous jobs are eligible for job rehabilitation services through the workers’ compensation system. To start vocational rehabilitation, you must have an accepted compensation claim or an approved stipulated agreement with respect to your injury or illness.

Consider the case of an injured factory assembly line worker who has completely lost the use of their right arm in a devastating workplace accident. The employer may not be able to accommodate a return to work for this individual. Their restrictions may prove too great to return to their former assembly line work in a safe manner. The injured worker might not be qualified for any other job, or for a supervisory or other executive position, with the company. Their most likely scenario, after payment of their Temporary Total Disability Benefits and Permanent Partial Disability Benefits, is that they will be left without the means to return to their former job. Is there an alternative for them?

Vocational Rehabilitation

Thankfully, YES. Connecticut’s workers’ compensation system provides for vocational rehabilitation and job retraining for permanently injured workers. Often, injured workers may experience reduced earning power from the effects of an occupational disease or a severe workplace accident. Vocational rehabilitation is designed to help provide a worker with the assistance they need to overcome a loss of earning power that is both substantial and permanent. The goal of the rehabilitation services is to help the injured worker to get back to work in a physically appropriate position for them. Vocational rehabilitation and job retraining allow injured workers to resume working in a position that is appropriate for them and their permanent limitations following an injury or illness. Under Connecticut’s vocational rehabilitation and job retraining program, you do not have to wait until your doctor determines that your maximum medical improvement has been reached.

You can apply for vocational rehabilitation at any time after your doctor determines that you may have a problem returning to work because of your physical limitations. In fact, early access to vocational rehabilitation may prevent future injuries when you return to the workplace. And as an additional bonus, early intervention utilizing vocational rehabilitation may assist you in making a return to the job market sooner than expected. We encourage our clients who were severely injured in a workplace injury to start vocational rehabilitation as soon as their doctor determines that they will have permanent work restrictions and limitations caused by their injury.

Vocational rehabilitation services provided to individual Connecticut workers can vary depending on the worker’s needs. Some services that may be provided include:

  • Training and education so that you can qualify for a different type of job.
  • Evaluations and aptitude testing.
  • Vocational counseling.
  • Mentorship and guidance regarding job-seeking skills.
  • Placement assistance.

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Every injured worker who receives vocational rehabilitation services will work with a Rehabilitation Coordinator. This qualified person will help the injured worker as they pursue new job opportunities and return to the workforce. Ultimately, vocational rehabilitation and job retraining will only be as successful for you as the amount of effort that you put into it. It can give you the chance to really change your life. A new career could open for you. As lawyers, we counsel our clients all the time that they need to see opportunities in the challenges they face. Vocational rehabilitation can provide such an opportunity.

Of course, even successful completion of vocational rehabilitation services does not guarantee you a successful new job. To be sure, it will be a trial-and-error process. There will be ups and downs in your job searches. However, by successfully completing vocational rehabilitation, you are maximizing your opportunity to navigate a successful return to the workplace.

Get Help

If you have questions regarding the available workers’ compensation benefits, including vocational rehabilitation and the return-to-work process, the workers’ compensation lawyers at our firm are here to assist you. Contact us to learn more. We are always happy to answer your questions.


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