Unfortunately, not everyone fully recovers from their workplace accident. Severe injuries can result in long-lasting, even life-lasting, debilitation. Whether you suffer from debilitating chronic pain, the loss of a limb, a traumatic brain injury, or another type of disability due to a workplace accident, there is still hope in returning to work. You may not be able to perform the same type of work that you once were, but with Maryland’s Vocational Rehabilitation workers’ compensation resources, you can take some solace in being re-trained and re-entering the workforce in another field.
What is Vocational Rehabilitation?
The Maryland Vocational Rehabilitation services provide injured and disabled workers with testing, vocational counseling, job placement, retraining, and even on-the-job-training, all designed to get the injured individual back to work. Maryland has both public and private rehabilitation counselors. In order to be accepted as a candidate for vocational rehabilitation, you must have sustained injuries on the job that prevent you from performing the work that you did at the time of the accident or injury. Additionally, you must receive approval from your insurer or the Commission in order to receive any rehabilitation services. If your insurer refuses to give permission, your attorney and you need to go before a Commission hearing in order to have your case heard; the final decision will be made by the Commission. It is vital to work with an attorney throughout this process, even if your insurer initially agrees to the training.
The Training Process May Take Up to Two Years, During Which You Will Receive Total Temporary Disability Benefits
According to the Maryland Vocational Rehabilitation services, you may receive up to two years of vocational training if there are “no suitable jobs available in the local job market in which you may become gainfully employed.” If your counselor cannot find a suitable position with your old employer, either doing similar work or in a different or modified position, they will broaden the search to other types of job placement in which you have transferable skills. If neither of these options is feasible, your counselor will develop the training plan. Your approved course may take less than the two year maximum in many cases. The optimal goal is to find a new position that matches your old salary, though that is not always the outcome. Studies have shown that vocational rehabilitation recipients vary in terms of how financially independent they become after partaking in training. The more seriously injured and disabled the individual, the higher their chance of needing to rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other types of disability programs. If your injuries are very severe, seeking out other types of supplemental income such as SSI may be something to consider as well as retraining. During your training, you will continue to receive your Total Temporary Disability benefits, allowing you to pay the bills while you are trained for a new job.
Contact a Maryland Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
To find out more about vocational rehabilitation, contact an experienced Maryland workers’ compensation attorney today at the law office of Frame & Frame at 410-255-0373. We are eager to assist you today.