Vocational Training for Injured Workers in Illinois
If your doctor places you on permanent restrictions and your employer in Illinois cannot accommodate you, it is your employers responsibility to hire a vocational counselor to explore your future. Contact an Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer for more information about vocational rehabilitation and counseling, particularly if it is an option that has not been offered to you by your employer.
Illinois employee rights often include vocational rehabilitation and/or counseling. Unfortunately most insurance companies only hire vocational counselors to pressure an injured worker into filling out job search logs, and if you fail to do so they will attempt to terminate your weekly compensation checks. In this situation, the worker’s employee rights are not being fulfilled as they are unlikely to secure permanent, gainful employment in this manner.
Significant monitoring and restrictions need to be placed on a vocational counselor. A workers compensation attorney can hire their own vocational counselor who can recommend schooling, apprenticeship programs and retraining for the injuried employee. A job search for minimum wage jobs isn’t the only answer.
Ideally, a vocational counselor should provide the following to injured workers at the expense of the employer:
- Evaluation and Counseling: This is an initial evaluation where the counselor learns more about the employee’s capabilities, taking into consideration their injuries and subsequent limitations. Once the evaluation is completed, the vocational counselor can advise what jobs or career path might be a good match for the injured employee.
- Job Training and Development: If an employee is no longer able to perform any function of their previous position due to a work injury, Illinois rights may provide for additional training at the expense of the employer, so that the injured party may receive the skills necessary to get another position.
- Educational Assistance: In some cases, job training alone is not sufficient to prepare an injured worker for a new position or career path. In this instance, the vocational counselor may recommend additional educational assistance for the injured employee to gain the necessary skill set and knowledge.
- Job Placement: Upon completion of job training and additional education, a vocational counselor can assist the injured worker in finding a new position. If necessary, vocational counselors may utilize connections with employers and help present opportunities that the job-seeker might not have access to on their own.
- Follow Up: A competent vocational counselor knows that their job is not finished when their client is gainfully employed; rather, they follow up with the employee at certain intervals to ensure that the employee is meeting the employer’s expectations and vice versa. If the new position is not a good fit, they may make additional adjustments or recommendations.
Not all workers who have sustained an injury at work are satisfied to receive workers’ compensation benefits and stay at home. Many people, particularly those who enjoy their jobs or feel too young to be out of the work force, would prefer to be at work. It is well within your Illinois employee rights to request vocational training from your employer so that you are able to work again, even if your work injury prevents you from being able to perform the job functions of your previous position.
If you have been injured on the job in Illinois request a Free Case Evaluation or if you need more information on Vocational Training – Call Toll Free (888) 460-4878.
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