FL workers’ compensation attorney explains vocational retraining. Call (877) 817-4127 to schedule a consultation.
When an employee suffers a job injury, their first concern is receiving proper medical treatment and physical rehabilitation. However, once the dust settles down, many injured employees find out that they will be unable to return to their previous line of work. You may need vocational retraining to adjust to your current limitations if this happens to you.
How does vocational rehabilitation work in Florida, and who is eligible? Lyle B. Masnikoff, a leading Florida workers’ comp lawyer, provides some answers.
What Is Vocational Retraining?
Most people know that workers’ compensation laws in Florida provide benefits for injured workers. However, Florida’s workers’ compensation law also has a goal of helping injured employees re-enter the workforce.
If you received injuries on the job, you might be physically capable of gainful employment, but not in the same industry. For example, your work-related injuries may prevent you from resuming construction work. However, you can retrain and enter a different professional field to accommodate your disability. This is where vocational rehabilitation comes into the picture.
Re-employment services in Florida may include vocational training, vocational counseling, job analysis, selective job placement, and more. An injured worker may apply for these services through the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). In some cases, vocational retraining may also form a part of a private insurance package.
Who Is Eligible for Re-Employment Services?
Several conditions may influence your eligibility for re-employment services through the DWC. However, the minimum requirements are:
- Having an injury or illness compensable under Florida’s workers’ comp laws
- Holding a United States work permit
- Submitting a Request for Screening with all the necessary application forms within one year of receiving indemnity or medical benefits for the last time
Every individual re-employment plan may depend on your age, previous occupation, work history, education, transferable skills, medical condition, and average weekly earnings before the injury. A vocational rehabilitation team that helps eligible applicants often includes vocational rehabilitation counselors, doctors, therapists, and job coaches.
How to Request a Screening
Vocational rehabilitation services requests pass through a dedicated portal for injured employees in Florida. To complete the application, you will need to provide your social security number, work history, and relevant medical information. You’ll also need to submit USCIS Form I-9 to verify your identity and confirm employment authorization.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Process
Vocational retraining usually starts with an initial orientation meeting, the first appointment with a counselor, and applying for services to determine eligibility. The counselor may send you to additional assessments and evaluations (at no cost). Eligibility determination may take up to 60 days.
If the DWC accepts your application, you will work with your vocational rehabilitation team to create an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). The plan will address the barriers that stand in your way to employment and list the available services to help you reach your career goals. An IPE may take up to 90 days.
After you and your vocational rehabilitation team have worked out a suitable plan, vocational rehabilitation can begin. Its elements often include:
- Career guidance and counseling
- Training and education
- On-the-job training
- Assistive devices and technology
- Job coaching
- Job placement
While you receive vocational retraining services, you may continue checking in with your counselor, whether in face-to-face meetings or through phone calls or emails. Once you find a suitable position, your assigned counselor will keep in touch with you for at least three months to provide additional support.
Why You Need an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Thousands of workers in Florida sustain workplace injuries or occupational illnesses every year. Many of these individuals won’t take advantage of all the benefits and services they’re entitled to due to insufficient knowledge of their legal rights, a language barrier, or lack of help from experienced workers’ compensation lawyers.
A competent workers’ compensation attorney can help you:
- Source relevant medical evidence to support workers’ compensation claims
- Make sure you comply with the requirements of Florida’s workers’ compensation laws
- Negotiate a fair settlement with your employer’s insurance company
- Prove eligibility for vocational retraining in Florida
Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates, P.A. – Your Workers’ Comp Attorneys in South Florida
Did you suffer a workplace injury? Are you facing an uncertain future due to limited employment options? Let us help you check your eligibility for re-employment services and other workers’ compensation benefits.
At Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A., our team of workers’ comp lawyers will bring decades of legal experience to promote your workers’ compensation claim. Our firm’s clients can be sure of assertive representation, a results-driven approach, and efficient legal strategies. Our dedicated workers’ comp attorneys will fight for your legal rights on a contingency basis – that is, you pay no fee unless we win.
To schedule your free consultation with a workers’ comp lawyer, call us at (877) 817-4127 today. Our multilingual staff welcomes Spanish- and Creole-speaking clients. We have offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Ft. Pierce, Orlando, and Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Copyright© 2022. Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A. All rights reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.