The workers’ compensation system in Oklahoma provides more than weekly payments to employees who have sustained work-related injuries. The system also provides vocational services to help workers prepare for and secure employment after recovering from a work-related injury. However, these services are not offered to everyone who receives workers’ compensation benefits. Who is eligible for vocational services after a workplace injury? Here’s what you should know:
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
Permanent partial disability benefits are awarded to workers who can perform some type of work, but are unable to return to the job they previously held due to their work-related disability.
Injured workers who are eligible for permanent partial disability benefits are also entitled to vocational services through the workers’ compensation system. These services are designed to retrain workers with permanent partial disabilities and help them find new jobs that they are capable of performing despite their disabilities. The services offered through this program will be provided for up to 52 weeks.
Injured Workers in Certain Industries
Eligible workers must request vocational services through the workers’ compensation system. The Vocational Rehabilitation Director will review the request and determine whether or not it is appropriate to provide these services on a case-by-case basis. However, the director will most likely rule in favor of providing these services to injured workers in certain industries.
For example, the law states that there is a “presumption in favor” of ordering vocational services to truck drivers and laborers who have suffered brain injuries, strokes, seizures, or uncontrollable vertigo. This means the director will most likely approve these injured workers’ requests for vocational services.
Truck drivers and laborers aren’t the only ones that are explicitly mentioned in Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation laws. Heavy equipment operators with blindness, roofers with calcaneal fractures, and assembly line workers with radial head fractures are included as well. Heavy laborers with a wide range of conditions, including congestive heart failure, multilevel back or neck fusions, recurrent inguinal hernias, and total knee or hip replacements, are also included. If you meet one of these specific definitions, it may be easier for you to obtain vocational services through the workers’ compensation system.
Have you been injured at work? If so, seek legal representation from the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Our experienced attorneys are committed to helping injured workers in Oklahoma obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.