The goal of workers' compensation is to help injured workers get back on their feet after getting hurt at work. Each injury and each person is different, and it takes longer to come back from some injuries than others.
Often, however, the process of getting back on one's feet often involves more than being compensation for lost wages and receiving medical treatment. For many people who get hurt on the job, the process of recovery includes a period of vocational rehabilitation.
As defined by the Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission, vocational rehabilitation is "a workers' compensation benefit that provides a disabled covered employee who cannot return to his former job as a result of work-related injury assistance in re-entering the workforce."
In other words, an injured worker may be a candidate for vocational rehabilitation if the work injury prevents him or her from going back to the type of job or occupation that he or she was doing before the injury. If you believe you are in that situation, this is something well worth discussing with a workers' compensation attorney. After all, it is a quite significant undertaking to have to retrain for a different job.
When vocational rehabilitation becomes necessary, it is of course of scary time psychologically for an injured worker. Change is hard for virtually everyone and there may be all sorts of uncertainties involved. That is precisely why voc rehab exists. It is there to help facilitate those changes.
To be sure, there is a formal process you'll have to go through. But the purpose of that process is to get you the help you need.
Source: "Voc Rehab Services for Injured Workers in Maryland," Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission
Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our main Maryland workers' compensation page.