Vocational Rehabilitation And Returning To Work

Philadelphia Lawyers — Returning To Work And Vocational Rehabilitation

Have you been getting workers’ compensation benefits but recently received a “Notice of Ability to Return to Work” form from your employer? Or, has it offered you your job back or requested that you return to work in a modified or light duty position within the company?

If so, your employer may be taking steps to return you to the workforce and to have your workers’ compensation wage loss benefits stopped through a suspension or modification petition. If you feel as though you cannot do the work it is asking of you or that you are not yet physically or mentally ready to return to work — take steps of your own and contact us.

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Jeffrey S. Gross and the associate attorneys at our firm have focused on representing injured Pennsylvania workers for more than 20 years. Call 215-512-1500 and let our experience benefit you.

Experienced Philadelphia Lawyers For Injured Pennsylvania Workers

What happens after you receive a Notice of Ability to Return to Work? If your employer has a specific job vacancy that you are deemed medically capable of performing, it is legally obligated to offer it to you. If you receive such an offer and either fail to respond or refuse to return to work and attempt the position being offered — you could lose your benefits.

If the employer does not have a suitable job vacancy, it may seek to have you undergo a vocational interview with a vocational counselor in order to demonstrate your earning power by conducting a labor market survey. Your earning power is determined by analyzing the work that you are capable of performing within your transferable skills and within your medical restrictions. This is based upon a vocational counselor’s research, which includes job listings with agencies of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, private job placements, and other agencies and advertisements.

If no jobs within your restrictions are available at your time-of-injury employer, the analysis will then look at transferable skills from your work history gathered from an interview with a vocational counselor of your employer’s choosing or from the insurance company’s choosing. The vocational counselor will apply these transferable skills and your medical restrictions to survey the labor market to find jobs that are available in your area. This is done in an attempt to show a workers’ compensation judge that you are capable of performing work generally in your area and that your wage loss benefits should be stopped or reduced.

If you receive a request to have a vocational interview from your employer or its insurance company, please contact us immediately to learn what you should do and how to protect your workers’ compensation benefits.

Deadlines for Filing Claims for Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

You can expect the insurance company to attempt to deny you the vocational rehabilitation benefits that are rightfully yours. You can also expect the insurer to look for opportunities to get away with denying your claim before vocational rehabilitation benefits.

One of the most common causes of denials include failing to file your application in a timely manner. Depending on the details of your case, you may have as few as three years following the work accident to get your initial claim for benefits filed.

However, this deadline can vary considerably depending on the circumstances of your work accident and whether you are already collecting other types of worker’s compensation benefits. Protect your right to vocational rehabilitation benefits when you hire a workers comp attorney to handle the legal details of your case.

What Do Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits Consist Of?

There are many types of vocational rehabilitation benefits you may be able to collect when your injuries are so severe that you will no longer be able to continue working in the same industry. Some of the more common types of vocational rehabilitation benefits that may be available include:

  • Aptitude evaluations
  • General ability exams
  • Psychological and medical evaluations
  • Counseling
  • On the job training
  • Education opportunities
  • Restorative services
  • Job placement assistance
  • Help to find interviews and job leads
  • Professional networking opportunities
  • Assistive technology
  • Help to find transportation
  • Occupational licenses and equipment
  • Modifications to your home or vehicle
  • Jobsite modifications
  • Personal care assistance
  • Interpreter services
  • Other types of specialized services

These are only a few of the more common kinds of vocational rehabilitation benefits you could collect after suffering and on the job work injury. Find out more about which benefits are specific to you and your family when you contact your attorney to discuss your vocational rehabilitation benefits application further.

What To Do If Your Claim for Benefits is Denied or Your Benefits are Stopped

If you were collecting worker’s compensation disability benefits and have received a notice of ability to return to work, or if you applied for vocational rehabilitation benefits and were denied, you may need to take action to protect your ability to continue supporting yourself and your family.

Your workers comp lawyer in Philadelphia can help you handle the claim appeals process. Generally, by providing the insurance company with any missing information, updating your application to address any mistakes, and including additional supporting documentation of your condition, the insurance company can be persuaded to overturn denials of the most deserving claimants.

However, since insurance companies lose money by playing out on workers comp claims, you can bet that they will look for any chance they have to get away with denying or stopping the benefits that are rightfully yours. Your attorney will be prepared to handle the insurance company on your behalf so you can focus on rebuilding your life.

Contact a Vocational Rehabilitation Lawyer for Help Today

Obtaining the vocational rehabilitation benefits you deserve shouldn’t be as challenging as insurance companies may seem. Fight for the benefits that are rightfully yours when you reach out to an experienced vocational rehabilitation lawyer at Gross & Kenny, LLP for help.

Protecting the rights of injured workers is what we do, all day, every day. Talk to us about protecting yours. For a free consultation — call us at 215-512-1500 or complete our convenient contact form.

Contact the Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP

For more information on Workers’ Compensation petitions and a free consultation, call Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP, at 215-512-1500 or contact us online.

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