A workplace injury can cause struggle and frustration all around. Your employer must fill your position while you recover, and this can be costly. Your family may have to adapt to your injury and the changes it brings to the household. Your spouse may be carrying a heavier burden by caring for you and increasing hours at work to make up for lost income.
Of course, you are the one whose struggle is the greatest, especially if your workplace injury is debilitating or life-changing. You know that there may be few steps you can take to relieve the burden for others, but fortunately, workers’ compensation insurance will alleviate some of the financial struggle. However, if you are unable to return to your old job, what does workers’ compensation do to help you?
Getting you back to work is one of the main goals of the workers’ compensation system. By covering your medical bills and lost wages, workers’ compensation attempts to relieve you of these financial worries so you can focus on recovering and returning to the work force. However, if your injury is severe, you may not be able to return to the work you used to do.
Part of workers’ compensation is rehabilitation. This is not limited to physical rehabilitation for your body, but includes vocational rehabilitation. While you may not be physically able to meet the demands of your old job, you may be able to find work elsewhere with the proper training and assistance. Based on your situation, your injury and other factors, you may qualify for some of these benefits:
- Vocational counseling
- An analysis of any skills that may transfer to another line of work
- Assistance preparing your resume and applying for jobs
- Training in job interview skills
- Help with your job search
- Assistance in requesting reasonable accommodations through the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Tuition for educational and retraining purposes
You may have the right to these benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, and, in fact, you may request this assistance up to 15 years after your injury if you live in California. Your employer may be required to meet certain deadlines and offer other elements of assistance once doctors determine that your injury will prevent you from returning to your job.
For assistance in ensuring you receive all the benefits due to you through workers’ compensation, you could benefit from the counsel of an attorney as soon as possible after your workplace accident.