Ocala, FL Vocational Rehabilitation
What Vocational Rehab Is
Vocational rehab is a workers’ compensation benefit that assists injured workers in returning to their previous job position or in retraining for a new position while earning wages comparable to previous wages. Retraining may be necessary if you are incapable of returning to your previous position due to permanent restrictions.
In Florida, if an on-the-job injury falls under workers’ compensation criteria and the injured employee has been off the job for 60 days after the injury date, it’s up to the employer’s workers’ comp insurance provider to determine the probability of returning to work. Injured employees may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation retraining services if they have reached the level of maximum medical improvement but are unable to earn at least 80 percent of their compensation rate. The Ocala attorneys at Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli can assist you in finding a certified vocational rehab center.
Benefits Of Vocational Rehab
Vocational rehab provides many benefits and opportunities for employees as they recover from a work injury. It can be used to pay for classes and certifications in another career. It can also include reasonable accommodation and assistance in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The lawyers in Ocala, FL, at Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli can help you understand your responsibilities and opportunities with vocational rehab in Florida.
Vocational Rehab Restrictions
Generally, there aren’t many restrictions in vocational rehab aside from employees being required to cooperate with the vocational rehabilitation counselor. This includes making a genuine attempt to return to suitable employment. If you’re uncooperative, you may lose entitlement to wage loss benefits. However, not all vocational rehabilitation counselors work for your best interest. If this is the case, contact a workers’ comp attorney in Ocala, FL, with Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli Our experienced attorneys can help protect your right to wage loss benefits.
How Vocational Rehabilitation Works
Vocational rehabilitation in Florida is a six-step process. The ultimate goal is to help you prepare for, receive, or keep a job based on your abilities and interests. Contact Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli to speak with Ocala lawyers skilled in all types of workers’ compensation benefits, including vocational rehabilitation.
1. Apply For Services
Any person in Florida with a mental or physical impairment and who is of working age — or near working age — can apply for vocational rehab. This is done by contacting a state-certified vocational rehab office and scheduling an appointment.
An evaluation will determine if there are treatments or other forms of assistance available that would help you obtain or keep a job. Once the evaluation is complete, if it determines that you qualify for vocational rehab services, you'll be placed in an Order of Selection category.
3. Rehab Planning
During this stage, your counselor works with you to develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), which includes:
- Chosen employment goal;
- Vocational rehab services to be received;
- Things you need to accomplish; and
- Amount of financial participation, if any.
You and your counselor are required to agree on any developed IPE.
4.Receipt Of Services
Examples of the services available under vocational rehab include:
- Education & training payments for retraining;
- Interview coaching;
- Job search assistance;
- On-the-job training; and
- Resume & job application completion.
5. Job Placement
Job placement involves helping you find local job openings, fill out job applications and prepare for interviews for specific jobs. It also includes making any necessary modifications to the job site, such as adding assistive devices. The vocational rehab counselor will likely want to make sure your employer is satisfied. They may also determine if other services are needed for you to stay gainfully employed.
Vocational rehabilitation generally ends once you have been gainfully employed for at least 90 days. Your vocational rehabilitation counselor will discuss ending their participation and determine whether you need continued vocational rehab services to remain employed.
Workers’ Comp Attorney in Ocala, FL
A Florida workers’ compensation lawyer with Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli can help ensure your vocational rehabilitation experience is beneficial throughout. We can accompany you to the first meeting with a vocational rehab counselor and maintain regular communication with the counselor afterward. Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli can also review job leads you’re receiving to make sure they’re appropriate for your situation. All in all, it’s our goal as a workers’ compensation law firm to help you return to full-time employment. Contact us today.