Vocational Rehabilitation

Workers’ Compensation Attorney Assisting Residents of Rockland County and Beyond

Being injured on the job can change a worker’s life instantly. One day, an employee is busy making a living and supporting a family, and the next day they are in a physical condition that may never allow a return to the kind of work that led to the injury. New York workers’ compensation laws provide many different types of benefits to injured workers. These benefits include not only medical care and disability payments but also vocational rehabilitation services in some cases. Rockland County workers’ compensation lawyer Valerie J. Crown can help address questions about the benefits to which you may be entitled following a workplace accident in Greater New York.

Generally speaking, rehabilitation services are voluntary on the worker’s part. In other words, the amount of benefits that they receive for a work injury is not contingent upon the completion of a rehabilitation program in most cases. However, there is one exception to this general rule. Under New York Workers’ Compensation Law § 15.3(v), for a worker who suffers 50% or more loss or loss of use of a member, the worker “shall” either participate in a board-approved rehabilitation program or demonstrate cooperation with efforts to institute such a program but be determined by the board not to be a feasible candidate for rehabilitation.

Types of Rehabilitation Available Under New York Law

Since vocational rehabilitation is considered part of an injured worker’s treatment and care, the costs of it should be borne by the employer or its insurance company. Overall, there are four types of rehabilitation services that may be available, depending upon the circumstances of a particular worker’s case. There is vocational rehabilitation (services designed to help the claimant return to work), selective placement (programs to help people with a permanent disability find a job to fit their abilities), medical rehabilitation (exercise, muscle conditioning, etc.), and social services (assistance in addressing family or financial issues that interfere with the worker’s rehabilitation). Injured workers who participate in a rehabilitation program are usually eligible to continue receiving disability payments, at least in part.

In addition to rehabilitation services, benefits that may be available to a person hurt on the job include necessary medical care directly related to the original injury or illness (including diagnostic tests), temporary disability payments, and permanent disability payments. In addition, a particular worker may also qualify for other assistance, such as Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income payments. An attorney who regularly represents injured workers can help an employee with issues related to vocational rehabilitation, in addition to advocating on their behalf with regard to a workers’ compensation claim overall. Depending upon how the injury occurred, it may also be possible to file a negligence action against a third party, such as a motorist who caused a car accident while the employee was making a delivery or a manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment that hurt the worker. However, the employer or its workers’ compensation insurer may be entitled to repayment of certain funds paid out on the worker’s behalf, based on the doctrine of subrogation.

Speak to a Rockland County Attorney About a Workers’ Compensation Matter

If you have been hurt on the job, you should talk to a lawyer about your case. While some employers try to “do the right thing,” others do not, forcing workers to litigate their claim in order to get what they are legally due. Fortunately, the law gives injured workers the power to hire an attorney to represent them in this process. Rockland County attorney Valerie J. Crown regularly handles workers’ compensation cases in Rockland, Westchester, Orange, Dutchess, Suffolk, and Putnam Counties, among other areas of Greater New York. Call us at 845-708-5900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. She also can assist people who need a personal injury attorney to bring a lawsuit against someone who harmed them, or she can seek Social Security Disability benefits on your behalf if you are eligible.