After some workplace injuries, it is not possible to return to your original job. This may be due to new physical limitations or disabilities that would prevent you from fulfilling your old tasks and responsibilities. If this is the case, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation is a workers’ compensation program in Maryland that helps you find new work after you have recovered from your injury.
How Do I Apply for Vocational Rehabilitation?
If you cannot return to your previous job because of the injury, you should talk with your attorney about vocational rehabilitation. After discussing the issue with your attorney, you will need to contact the insurer and tell them that you would like to apply. If the insurer agrees, they will select a vocational rehabilitation provider for you.
In Maryland, vocational rehab providers are regulated by the Workers Compensation Commission. There are both public and private providers who can help you look for new work or apply for retraining. If your insurer agrees to compensate you for vocational rehab, he is allowed to select the provider. If you cannot agree on vocational rehabilitation or a provider, you can schedule a hearing with the Commission in order to resolve the dispute.
What Does a Vocational Rehabilitation Provider Do?
Vocational rehab providers will go through a series of steps to help you find employment. First you will interview with a counselor. The counselor will ask you about your work experience, skills, and interests, and try to determine your employability. The first option for vocational rehabilitation is finding you a different job at your original employer. If there is an available job that provides comparable wages, your counselor will help you secure this job, so that you can continue working at the same organization.
If that is not an option, your counselor will speak with you about developing a plan for finding a new job that pays a similar wage. Once you both agree on a plan, it will need to be approved by the Workers Compensation Commission before your counselor begins to help you with the job search.
If the job search is unsuccessful or if the counselor thinks that your employability is low, then he or she will look for retraining programs that can give you new skills to help you find a job. Although the counselor will want to know about your hobbies and interests, he or she may decide that your best job opportunities are in another field. You will have to come to an agreement before deciding what type of retraining program to begin.
Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney that Can Help You
If you think you need vocational rehabilitation, it can be very useful to have an attorney who can assist you. Our attorneys have years of experience with workers compensation claims and can help you get the benefits that you deserve and need. Give us a call or schedule an appointment if you need assistance.