Some work-related injuries result in serious and permanent physical or psychological restrictions. In some cases, those permanent restrictions prevent the injured worker from returning to the job they had at the time of their injury. In those cases, temporary total disability benefits are initially available to the injured worker as they receive treatment, but when treatment alternatives are exhausted and significant restrictions still exist, temporary total disability benefits may no longer be appropriate.
Vocational rehabilitation is a program through which an injured worker with continued restrictions due to a work-related injury may receive assistance looking for a lighter duty job. In some cases, injured workers may even receive job training services to re-enter the workforce in a lighter duty capacity.
To qualify for vocational rehabilitation, medical professionals treating the injured worker (the providers of record) must identify restrictions related to allowed conditions in the claim. Those restrictions must preclude the injured worker from returning to his or her former job but still make a return to work in some capacity feasible.
While participating in vocational rehabilitation, injured workers are eligible for living maintenance benefits often paid at a rate similar to temporary total disability benefits. Provided the treating medical providers support a return to gainful employment despite claim-related restrictions, and also provided the injured worker is motivated to return to work and fully participate in the program, vocational rehabilitation can be an excellent way to safely and successfully get back to work.
If you’ve suffered an injury on the job, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced legal team at Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC. We have almost 100 years of workers’ compensation experience fighting for the rights of Ohio’s injured workers.