Vocational Rehabilitation Rights of Injured Workers in Illinois

Illinois Workers' Compensation Attorneys

Vocational rehabilitation is a process of helping people who have suffered an injury or illness to rebuild their work skills. In some cases, an individual who has been injured can return to his or her previous job. If the injury or illness causes long-term or permanent limitations, it is possible to be trained for a different type of job. Laws vary from state to state, but you may be entitled to payment for your vocational rehabilitation services through your workers' compensation benefits. Payment can be required from your employer, your employer's workers' compensation insurer, the state, or a combination of these three.

Mevorah Law Offices LLC will help you or a loved one who has suffered injury or sickness on the job find out what type of workers' compensation benefits your Illinois allows, which may include vocational rehabilitation. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC as soon as possible at 630-932-9100 to learn what type of benefits you may be entitled to.

Types of Services

There are many types of vocational rehabilitation services that are provided to injured employees. As previously stated, they vary from state to state, but they may include:

  • On-the-job training
  • Resume and job-application services
  • Labor-market surveys
  • Job-search assistance
  • Counseling
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) reasonable-accommodation assistance
  • Transferable-skills analysis and testing
  • Interview coaching
  • Job analyses
  • Wage-assessment evaluations
  • Ergonomics assessment
  • Education and tuition payments for retraining

To determine which types of benefits an injured employee is entitled to, the state statutory and regulatory limitations are taken into account, along with the specific situation of the employee in question.

Employee Accountability

Employees have a responsibility in many states to cooperate with vocational rehabilitation efforts. If accepting the services provided with vocational rehabilitation, they must make a solid attempt to return to suitable employment. This is true of many states, but other states may have different requirements. For example, it is not required in certain states for an employee to participate in either physical or vocational rehabilitation. However, eligibility for workers' compensation benefits may be affected negatively if the employee refuses to participate in the rehabilitations offered.

Caution: The workers' compensation carrier has a right to reduce or possibly suspend wage-loss benefits of an employee if they do not cooperate with the rehabilitation service providers. If an employee refuses the services, other negative consequences may occur.

Responsibility of the Employer

There are many statutory and regulatory responsibilities that are related to vocational rehabilitation that your employer or their workers' compensation carriers may be required to offer to an employee. For example, an offer of rehabilitation counseling services might be mandatory to an employee who has lost a certain amount of time from work because of their injuries. In addition, this offer must be made within a certain time frame after the threshold has been reached. The services offered will vary along with the type of injury that occurred.

It is possible that while an employee is participating in certain vocational-rehabilitation programs, the employer has to pay for more than regular wage-loss benefits. Examples of what an employer may be required to pay for include tuition, living expenses, room and board, child-care expenses, or travel expenses. Vocational rehabilitation assistance cannot be offered by every employer, however. In some jurisdictions, only qualified individuals such as Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRC's), Certified Case Managers (CCM's), or Certified Disability Management Specialists (CDMS's) are able to provide injured employees with the benefits of vocational rehabilitation.

Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC at 630-932-9100!

State laws regarding vocational rehabilitation responsibilities vary for employers, insurers, and claimants. Our skilled lawyers at Mevorah Law Offices LLC can answer any questions you or a loved one may have about the right to vocational rehabilitation because of a work-related injury or sickness.

"Strongly recommend. I had a workers comp case and the insurance company that was representing my employer was extremely aggressive in a very intimidating manner. Attorney Laura Childs and her paralegal Nancy Messina both represented and guided me through the workers comp 'maze' which allowed me to focus on my rehab as opposed to worrying about whether the medical bills would be taken care of. The final settlement that Laura negotiated far exceeded any and all expectations that I had. Thank you again!"
- R. R.

"I would like to thank your office for the great job they did in handling my case. You solved so many problems big and small. I would definitely recommend you to anyone in need of legal services."
- D. M.

"Honesty, integrity, trust, and hard work are attributes that my lawyers exemplified in both of my cases. […] communication with me was excellent. Your law firm as a whole should be proud!"
- R. M.

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