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Rehabilitation in workers' compensation means more than one thing

When most California workers think about what "rehabilitation" means in connection with workers' compensation, it is usually in conjunction with recovering from an on-the-job injury -- such as physical therapy. That is just one definition of rehabilitation when it comes to providing workers' compensation benefits to injured workers. The other definition -- which could be more important to some individuals -- relates to vocational rehabilitation.

Some people who suffer injuries at work are forever unable to perform the duties of the position they held at the time of their injuries. Therefore, it is necessary to provide assistance to help that person find new employment. This could mean anything from additional education to assistance with resume writing. The type of vocational rehabilitation needed and provided depends on the circumstances of a particular case.

Here in California, an injured worker must request this type of rehabilitation. The request needs to be made within 15 years of the date on which the individual making the request suffered his or her injury. An employer’s responsibilities regarding vocational rehabilitation are outlined in state law.

These workers' compensation benefits can be invaluable to someone who is forced to modify their duties or change jobs entirely based on the impact a work injury has on that person's life. It is not enough to simply be aware of their existence, however. Requesting these benefits could be complex and may only exacerbate an already untenable situation. Therefore, enlisting the assistance of someone who understands the system and its requirements could prove helpful.

Source: FindLaw, "Rehabilitation Rights of Injured Workers", , Aug. 25, 2014

Source: FindLaw, "Rehabilitation Rights of Injured Workers", , Aug. 25, 2014

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