Illinois Vocational Rehabilitation Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If your work injury has left you disabled, and you cannot return to your former job, the Workers’ Compensation Act requires that your employer pay for vocational rehabilitation. This means that your employer must not only pay for your medical care but also must provide monetary benefits to help with various costs associated with job retraining, continued education, and reentry into the workforce.
At Anesi Ozmon, our Chicago vocational rehabilitation attorneys assist individuals who have suffered severe work-related injuries and illnesses in seeking the maximum owed workers’ compensation benefits. Since 1955, we have served clients throughout Illinois, offering highly personalized and attentive legal services.
What Is Vocational Rehabilitation?
Vocational rehabilitation is a service for individuals who have suffered serious or even career-ending injuries, that resulted in disabilities preventing them from returning to their previous employment. The purpose of vocational rehabilitation is to help these individuals obtain the necessary skills to reenter the workforce, whether in a modified capacity or in a new occupation.
Vocational rehabilitation services include but are not limited to:
- Continued education
- Employment exploration or modification
- Job placement
Essentially, any services necessary to prepare a disabled worker to reenter the workforce may fall under vocational rehabilitation.
Who Qualifies for Vocational Rehabilitation?
There is no specific standard that outlines who qualifies for vocational rehabilitation in Illinois. However, injured workers must typically make a “reasonable effort” to seek/obtain employment following a work-related injury or illness. They must also prove that they are unable to find employment that provides the necessary accommodations for their disability or impairment.
Once an individual proves that he or she cannot obtain employment due to a disability or impairment stemming from a work injury, he or she will need to undergo an assessment prior to receiving vocational rehabilitation benefits. The purpose of this assessment is to determine the individual’s vocational needs, as well as his or her level of medical care, impairment, and disability. Workers may request specific job training or education in some circumstances, but in any case, an individual vocational rehabilitation plan will be designed based on the assessment of the worker’s needs.
Injured employees who receive vocational rehabilitation benefits must follow the program and make reasonable efforts to return to work. Those who fail to comply with program requirements or fail to seek employment will have their benefits terminated.
Dedicated to Your Complete Financial Recovery
At the law offices of Anesi Ozmon, our workers’ compensation lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of people who suffer injuries on the job. We work to ensure that our clients who have been injured in the workplace receive optimal compensation to allow them to adapt to a new set of life circumstances. We educate both victims and their employers about the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act, including injured workers’ rights to vocational rehabilitation.
Contact our Illinois workers’ compensation law firm to schedule a free initial consultation regarding vocational rehabilitation after your serious knee injury, back injury, or another disabling injury that has left you unable to continue in your previous line of work. We return all calls within 24 hours and do not collect any legal fees unless we recover compensation for you.
Employees who suffer disabling work injuries and illnesses are generally entitled to workers’ compensation, including compensation for vocational rehabilitation benefits (if necessary/applicable). This means that your employer is responsible for paying for your vocational rehabilitation and related costs.
In some circumstances, this could mean that your employer must pay for a vocational expert who has experience in assessing the job market on behalf of workers who are unable to go back to their former types of work and placing injured workers in suitable new employment. In other circumstances, vocational rehabilitation could require your employer to pay for your retraining for some other occupation. In some special cases, it could mean that your employer should pay for further education.
Generally speaking, workers’ compensation pays for the following vocational rehabilitation services and costs:
- Vocational rehabilitation expert fees
- Job retraining and education expenses
- Course fees and materials
- Travel expenses
- Various living expenses
- Room and board and other maintenance costs
This is not an exhaustive list; your employer (or their workers’ compensation insurance provider) is responsible for most—if not all—of your vocational rehabilitation costs. To learn more, contact our Chicago vocational rehabilitation attorneys at Anesi Ozmon today.
For more than 60 years, Illinoisans have entrusted their personal injury and workers’ compensation matters to us. We believe in keeping our clients informed of where their cases are and what lies ahead. When you have questions, we will patiently answer all the questions you may have about the legal process.
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We understand the uncertainty you face and aim to provide you peace of mind. Clients may worry about making ends meet while missing work because of injuries or staying out of debt from medical bills. Our aim is to go above and beyond what you expect so that you can focus on recovery.
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At Anesi Ozmon, we believe that no two situations are alike. Thus, we work to not only learn about your case but also about what unique goals and needs you may have in order to provide you with legal counsel customized to you.
Protecting the Injured Since 1955
Anesi Ozmon has four generations of leaders and decades of experience protecting the rights of those injured. When you come to our office, you don't just get our team, you get our history.