It's been awhile since we last wrote about vocational rehabilitation after a work injury.
In our February 8 post, we discussed the relationship between workers' compensation and vocational rehabilitation in Maryland. We noted, for example, that voc rehab (as it is often called) is available as a workers' compensation benefit for workers who are unable to return to their former jobs.
In other words, if your injury prevents you from doing the type of work you did before you were injured, vocational rehabilitation is a process for getting you ready for a job change.
In this post, let's talk about some of the steps in that process.
Depending on how one counts, the first step is an interview with a vocational rehabilitation counselor.
Before that, however, a preliminary step is often to talk with a workers' compensation attorney about the role that vocational rehabilitation could play in a particular case. If the insurance company is resistant to covering rehab services, an attorney can also be useful in making the request for such services in the clearest possible terms.
The counselor could be public or private. The public counselor is through the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services. There are also private practitioners who, though private, are required to register with the state.
At the interview with the counselor, there will naturally be an inventory of your work background, health history and other information relating to your job interests and employability.
Once that information is gathered and reviewed, it will be time to develop a plan for how you would use vocational rehabilitation to return to work. Developing this plan involves setting goals that are customized to an individual person's circumstances.
Source: Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission, "Voc Rehab for Injured Workers in Maryland"