Can You Benefit From Vocational Rehabilitation Under Workers Compensation?

Workers compensation and social security disability can provide some level of financial support while you focus on your recovery, but at some point, you may want to return to work.

Portrait Of Businesswoman Working In Office

Some workers have to take a lot of time off work after their injuries to recover. In some cases, you may be able to resume your work activities after a few months of treatment, either on the position you had before the accident or some modified post that can accommodate your medical conditions.

However, that may not be an option for some workers. The extent of the injury may be so severe, that you may get totally or partially disabled. If that is the case for you, then you may be able to get social security disability benefits on top of your worker’s compensation, so that you can cover your medical bills.

Most people don’t want to live on disability forever. But if your injuries do not allow you to ever go back to work, you may be forced to switch careers.

What Can You Do?

Vocational Rehabilitation is a program that can provide training to workers who need to change their career as a result of a disability. The program is run by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

VR can assist you in becoming employed. You will meet with a counselor to determine whether you are eligible for the services – you need to have a physical or mental impairment that prevents you from doing your old job.

Once you are cleared, you will work with a counselor to develop a plan for rehabilitation. Vocational Rehabilitation includes services such as:

  • Guidance;
  • Counseling;
  • Learning job-seeking skills;
  • Job placement services;
  • Vocational training;
  • Transition services;
  • Rehabilitation technology services;
  • Supported employment services;
  • Help for accessing the Ticket to Work program.

Can You Keep Workers Compensation?

Under the Missouri law, workers compensation benefits also have to cover lost wages, not just the costs of your medical treatment. That means the benefits should also cover the costs of vocational rehabilitation since you are unable to pay for it yourself.

However, it’s possible to stumble upon some complications.

You’ll most likely have to prove your condition won’t allow you to go back to work at your previous employer, and that you need rehabilitation to become financially independent. This proof may consist of your medical files and statements from your doctor. Moreover, you’ll most likely have to negotiate the terms of the settlement with your adjuster too. For this reason, you should reach out to an experienced workers compensation attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.

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Updated: April 4, 2024

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