Rehabilitation rights refer to the right of an injured worker to fully recover from a work-related injury. Such rights apply to both physical and vocational rehabilitation, which workers’ compensation benefits can often cover. To receive the compensation you deserve after a workplace injury or illness, you should understand rehabilitation rights and how they may apply to your situation. A workers’ compensation attorney from our team can help you work through this system at no upfront cost. Call KJT Law Group today at (818) 507-8525.
Types of Rehabilitation You Could Seek Following a Workplace Injury
In workers’ compensation, rehabilitation has two different meanings: physical and vocational care. Every employer should have these programs to ensure their injured employees can recover without financial or professional setbacks.
Physical rehabilitation refers to medical assessments and physical therapy designed to treat and overcome the workplace injury or illness you suffered. Physical therapy may include stretches, strengthening exercises, and other activities designed to improve your coordination, balance, and overall health. Once you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), your physician certifies that your condition is as good as it is likely to get, even with additional medical treatment. Still, physical rehabilitation aims to return you to your original state of health, flexibility, and mobility, allowing you to go back to your work or a similar position and continue your life as before.
When your workplace injury causes long-term or permanent impairment, you may be eligible to seek vocational rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation involves education, training, and other services to help you obtain another position or establish a new career.
Such services may include:
- On-the-job training: You may undergo this rehabilitation if you make a full recovery from your workplace injury or illness. This way, you can ease back into your job and rebuild your productivity.
- Skills testing and analysis: This service considers your skills and experience acquired from your previous position, in which you can no longer perform, and uses this information to match them with a new position.
- Tuition reimbursement for education and training programs: If you feel uneasy about going back to your old job but want to stay at your company, you could go through training for another position. Re-training comes with an extra cost to you, but vocational rehabilitation benefits can cover them.
- Job surveys and searches: If you had been at your previous job for several years, you may not be too familiar with the climate of the job market. In that case, you could use resume writing services to help you find a new job that you are qualified for. They could also help you explain or bridge any gaps in your resume, while maintaining an optimal format.
- Job counseling and case management: Staying home from work all day or not being able to provide for yourself or your family can take a toll on your mental health. Alternatively, if you were at the pinnacle of your career and injured unexpectedly, this drastic change could cause depression. You may benefit from counseling to help you move forward from this trying time and even facilitate your physical recovery.
Depending on your injuries, you may be assigned a vocational or a return-to-work counselor to help you get back to work.
A workers’ compensation attorney in your area can explain which services California’s workers’ compensation laws cover and help you pursue the full compensation you deserve.
How the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Can Affect Your Claim
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) aims to prevent workplace discrimination based on employees’ disabilities. The Act also urges employers to provide reasonable accommodations to their employees with disabilities, unless they aggravate their condition.
Examples of these accommodations include:
- Transferring the employee to a location that gives them better access to the appropriate medical facilities
- Giving the employee an appropriate amount of unpaid leave to tend to their medical conditions
- Making the workspace more accessible (e.g., lowering the height of desks, installing magnifiers, creating wide walkways)
- Hiring an ASL interpreter or installing brail
These arrangements can help employees with disabilities to work more effectively and comfortably.
Fighting for Your Rehabilitation Rights in a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation benefits can be difficult to obtain. You have to provide specific documentation proving that your injury is work-related and establishing your level of disability.
Since workers’ compensation carriers are typically motivated to pay as little as possible, you could face an uphill battle when trying to secure either physical or vocational rehabilitation benefits.
A workers’ compensation attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence to file a valid workers’ compensation claim. If your claim is denied, they can guide you through the appeals process.
Types of Disability You Can Claim After a Work-Related Injury
Rehabilitation rights you can receive differ depending on the extent and severity of your disability. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), types of disability compensation include:
- Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
A physician can evaluate your condition to help you determine which disability compensation you can recover in your workers’ compensation claim.
Work With a Workers’ Compensation Attorney From Our Firm Today
When you suffer a severe workplace injury that requires physical or vocational rehabilitation, you deserve fair compensation. Any injury that requires rehabilitation can create significant physical, psychological, and financial challenges.A workers’ comp attorney on our team can help fight for your rehabilitation rights during the workers’ comp process. You can count on them to collect evidence to prove your injury is work-related, negotiate with the insurance companies, and dispute or appeal any claim denials. KJT Law Group Contact or call us at (818) 507-8525 today to discuss your rehabilitation rights as an injured worker. The first call is free of charge.