Vocational rehabilitation is a program offered to individuals unable to return to the work they did before being injured on the job. However, they may be able to work in another capacity, whether with the same employer or a different employer. Vocational rehab helps workers transition to jobs they're able to do despite the physical and sometimes emotional restrictions and limitations caused by workplace accidents.
Failure to pursue opportunities for re-employment is required under Ohio Revised Code §4123.58 which prohibits an award of permanent total disability if "the employee has not engaged in educational or rehabilitation efforts to enhance the employee's employability, unless such efforts are determined to be in vain."
During this transition, workers will be eligible for Living Maintenance or Living Maintenance Wage Loss benefits.
What Happens in a Vocational Rehab Program?
A vocational rehabilitation program tries to help injured workers get or keep a job. The rehab process may consist of:
- Evaluation of the disability or limitation
- Vocational counseling and training
- Job search and placement assistance
- Educational assistance
- Transportation, occupational tools, and equipment
- Personal attendant services
These services are not always available through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), so it may be necessary to work with other agencies. The BWC, your managed care organization, and the Ohion Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) can work together to help find the right program for you.
How Do You Qualify for a Program?
To apply for vocational rehabilitation, your doctor should fill out a C-9 Request for Authorization form and submit it to the BWC. To qualify, you need an allowed claim with eight or more days of lost time from work and a “significant impediment” to returning to work. You'll also have to meet certain criteria related to the extent of your injuries and type of compensation you're awarded.
How Monast Law Can Help
If you were turned down for vocational rehabilitation and are struggling to get the workers’ comp benefits you need to make up for losses related to a work injury, request a free copy of my book, The Worker’s Guide to Injury Compensation in Ohio.
And call our office today! We've helped hundreds of injured workers just like you get the benefits they deserve, and we can help you, too.