If you are unable to return to your previous position because of your work-related injuries or illness, your employer’s insurance carrier should pay for you to receive vocational rehabilitation therapy. If vocational rehab does not lead to new work, you may be entitled to permanent total disability benefits.
Like most injured workers, you probably would like to return to your old job or at least some kind of gainful employment as soon as possible. Assuming you cannot fully recover from your injury or illness, you may be required to accept “light duty” or reduced responsibilities at your former place of employment. In this case, workers’ comp benefits should make up some of the difference if your new work pays less than your old job.
If you are unable to return to your former line of work, a vocational rehabilitation counselor may be able to help you find and adjust to employment that meets your capabilities and needs. Workers’ compensation medical benefits include reimbursement for the costs of vocational rehabilitation.
In cases in which an injured worker never recovers the ability to work for a living, he or she should receive permanent total disability wage-replacement benefits.
If your employer or its insurer denies you benefits to make up for lesser light-duty pay, assistance with vocational rehabilitation or a designation as permanently and totally disabled, you should ask a Ginarte law firm workers’ compensation lawyer to review your case and see how we can help you.