What Benefits are Available If I Cannot Go Back to the Work I Did Before Because of My Injury?
If you are unable to perform your pre-accident work duties after completing treatment for a work injury and reaching maximum medical improvement, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation, or you may be able to do your job with temporary or permanent restrictions.
Medical bills are expensive, but they are not the only way that a physical injury can harm your finances. Every day that you are out of work represents lost income, and if your injuries are so severe that, even after treatment, you are unable to return to your old job, then a work injury can move you into a new tax bracket, and not in a good way. Workers’ compensation benefits aim to return workers’ state of health to where they can return to their old jobs. When this is not possible, workers’ comp may provide vocational rehabilitation, which is training for a different job that you can do, even with your current restrictions. An Omaha workers’ compensation lawyer can help you resolve disputes with your employer over indemnity benefits and vocational rehabilitation.
Maximum Medical Improvement Does Not Always Mean Good as New
When a workers’ compensation doctor clears you to return to work, your employer expects you to start working again, but sometimes this is easier said than done. Your workers’ comp doctor may indicate restrictions on the amount you can lift, how long you can stand, and your ability to perform other physical tasks. Doctors measure these through a functional capacity evaluation (FCE).
After you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), you still might not be back to your old, pre-accident self. Your doctor might indicate permanent restrictions. Your employer should accommodate these restrictions the way that they would when an employee requests reasonable accommodations for a disability. It may turn out that your employer cannot accommodate you, and you will need to find a different job.
Finding a New Job if Your Injury Prevents You From Going Back to Your Old One
When workers suffer serious injuries that prevent them from doing their old jobs in any capacity, workers’ comp pays for vocational rehabilitation, which is career counseling and training for a job that you can do in your current state of health. Injured workers often disagree with vocational rehabilitation evaluators and counselors about what kind of work the worker can perform and how easy it is to find a new job. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you stand up for yourself if your employer and the workers’ comp system insist that your injuries are less severe than they really are.
Contact Andres Law Offices, PC LLO, About Adapting to a New Normal After a Work Injury
An Omaha workers’ compensation lawyer can help you make your case if you are entitled to vocational rehabilitation, work restrictions, or other accommodations after reaching MMI for a work injury. Contact Andres Law Offices, PC LLO in Omaha, Nebraska, about your case.