Vocational rehabilitation services are designed to help disabled individuals learn new skills so they find employment in different fields. Without these services, injured workers may have no way of supporting themselves and their families. But, do workers’ compensation benefits cover these services?
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
An injured worker is permanently partially disabled when he is able to work, but he cannot perform the same job duties he performed prior to sustaining his injury. Since he cannot return to the position he held previously, he must find another job. But, many workers who are in this situation are not trained to do anything besides the jobs they’ve done in the past. It would be unfair to leave someone unemployed because of a work-related injury without any skills to find employment. For this reason, workers’ compensation benefits cover the cost of vocational rehabilitation services for anyone who is considered permanently partially disabled.
How to Obtain Vocational Rehabilitation Services
If you are permanently partially disabled, it’s important to request vocational rehabilitation services. The administrative law judge will ask an expert to evaluate the injured worker to determine if training is necessary, and if so, what training he would benefit from the most. The administrative law judge will review these recommendations before deciding which services the injured worker should receive.
There are many different types of workers that qualify for these services. But, the law specifically states that the administrative law judge should favor ordering vocational rehabilitation services for certain workers, including truck drivers, laborers, and assembly-line workers. For example, the law states the judge should favor ordering these services for a truck driver who has suffered a disabling stroke or traumatic brain injury.
What to Expect During Training
The services must be provided by a local technology center, school that offers vocational-technical education classes, or an institution within The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education. Each of these providers must offer both training and job placement services to ensure the injured worker can find employment and support himself.
If you have been injured at work, seek legal representation as soon as possible. Our experienced attorneys will ensure you are capable of supporting yourself even if you are permanently disabled as a result of your injuries. Please call Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. today at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.