Vocational Rehabilitation in Atlanta Workers Comp

Some workplace accidents are so severe that they leave the injured workers with a permanent disability. This disability prevents them from ever performing the job they trained for and are experienced in. In this situation, an Atlanta workers comp lawyer can help the worker apply for vocational rehabilitation and make a fresh start in a new job.

Here is what you need to know about this type of workers comp benefit and how to access it.

What Are Vocational Rehabilitation Services?

According to Georgia Code 49-9-1(12) vocational rehabilitation represents any service provided to injured workers to compensate them for their disability to employment and enable them to engage in another form of gainful employment.

The employee must get in touch with the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, where a range of professionals will assist them with:

  • Career counseling
  • Educational training and tuition payment for retraining
  • Vocational evaluation to identify jobs suited to the worker’s limited abilities
  • On-the-job-training
  • Assistance with resume writing
  • Wage assessment evaluation
  • Consulting with potential employers about job modification and ergonomics to suit the worker’s abilities

These services will help the person, left with a disability after a workplace accident, find gainful employment within the limits of their ability to perform specific activities.

Conditions to Benefit from Vocational Rehabilitation

Georgia law has very specific definitions for the type of injuries that qualify an injured worker to receive these services. The law deems that only workers who suffered catastrophic injuries should benefit from vocational rehabilitation.

you can receive career counseling as part of workers comp benefits

An Atlanta workers comp attorney will evaluate your level of disability and the type of injury you suffered to check if you qualify. The most common examples of catastrophic injuries are:

  • Loss of limb
  • Severe burns
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Total blindness
  • Spinal cord injuries causing paralysis

This means that, if your injury is classified as non-catastrophic, the insurance company is not legally obliged to provide job retraining services.

What Kind of Benefits Are You Entitled to If Your Disability Is Not Deemed Catastrophic?

Some severe injuries deemed non-catastrophic can cause permanent impairment. However, you may not benefit from vocational rehabilitation services. Instead, your lawyer will make sure that your impairment receives a fair rating and that you obtain disability benefits.

To qualify for these benefits, your attorney must prove that:

  • Your impairment prevents you from working, or
  • Your employer cannot accommodate your work restrictions, or
  • As a result of the disability, you are earning less than before the accident.

The good news is that some employers will provide vocational rehabilitation to reintegrate a worker into their team, even if they are not required by law

Your Obligations as Beneficiary of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Under the workers comp system, you also have obligations. If you are offered job retraining services, you must attend all appointments set up for you with various professionals. Also, you must make an effort to learn a new job, update your resume, and find gainful employment.

If you willfully make no progress in these respects, you may lose all your workers comp benefits, including medical care costs and wage replacement.

Consult with an Experienced Atlanta Workers Comp Lawyer!

If a workplace accident results in a disability that prevents you from returning to your job, talk to a skilled Atlanta workers comp lawyer. You may qualify for vocational rehabilitation services, which will help you retrain for a new type of work.

The attorney will check if you meet the conditions for benefitting from these services and assist you with the application process. Also, the lawyer may persuade your employer’s insurance company to offer these services to you, even if they are not obliged by the law to do so.

We offer each new client a free case evaluation, so reach out to us at 470-287-5597!