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How does vocational rehabilitation help California workers?

| Jan 26, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Getting hurt on the job can cost of worker a lot of money. California does have a well-developed workers’ compensation program. Workers can receive full coverage for medical care because of a work-acquired medical condition and can also receive disability benefits that replace at least a portion of their wages.

Unfortunately for those with severe injuries or permanent medical conditions, the benefits available don’t cover all of their lost wages. If the injury changes someone’s ability to do their job, the financial impact of their injury could last for the rest of their life.

Thankfully, California does have special workers’ compensation benefits that help reduce the economic impact of an injury on someone’s life. Permanent partial disability could help replace lost income. For those who want to get back to work, vocational rehabilitation benefits can cover the costs of helping an employee train for a new career after a workplace injury. How does this particular benefit work?

Workers with permanent injuries must first undergo evaluation

The first step in vocational rehabilitation is an extensive examination. Professionals will work with the injured employee to determine what limitations they have and what abilities they can still offer an employer. The results of the evaluation will be an important baseline when trying to determine what sorts of training or vocational assistance best serve this particular injured worker.

After the exam comes the development of a plan

Based on a worker’s current limitations and abilities, the professionals overseeing vocational rehabilitation will develop a plan. They will try to optimize the worker’s income and economic opportunity while still respecting the impact of the injury on their abilities.

Job training is a frequent focus of such effort, although occupational and physical therapy could also play a role in helping get a worker ready to do more demanding physical work. Placement services also help get a rehabilitated worker into a good position somewhere.

When a workplace injury or work-acquired illness results in long-term medical consequences, your income and standard of living could take a hit that will last forever. Getting the benefits you need to replace your income and help you get back to work will protect your independence and your economic stability.

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