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How does vocational rehabilitation help injured workers?

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Getting hurt on the job can negatively impact a worker in two distinct ways. Their injury and the medical bills it generates will a noteworthy concern. Even workers with good health insurance may worry about paying a deductible while missing several days of work.

There will also be the lasting physical impact of that injury. Someone with carpal tunnel syndrome will likely have lasting limitations on their job performance. The same could be true for those who suffer amputations, soft tissue injuries, broken bones, head injuries and other serious workplace injuries.

Thankfully, the Louisiana workers’ compensation program authorizes coverage for those hurt or sickened by their employment. Workers can receive medical coverage for their treatment and also disability benefits for unearned wages. There are even vocational rehabilitation benefits for those dealing with work-acquired medical conditions. How do vocational rehabilitation benefits work?

The primary goal is to get someone back on the job

Simply treating the symptoms of someone’s work-acquired medical condition often isn’t adequate support for the worker involved. They may require physical therapy or similar rehabilitative services so that they can get back to work. Issues ranging from repetitive motion injuries to traumatic injuries can affect strength, range of motion and even balance.

Workers can undergo certain treatments to help them recover lost function after a work injury. The main focus will always be on getting someone back to work as soon as possible. In some cases, vocational rehabilitation will also include retraining based on employment demands in the area near the employee or possibly across the state of Louisiana.

Job retraining can help those with functional limitations that reduce their earning potential. If your injury or condition limit what you can do at work, you may qualify for training to learn new skills.

Permanent partial disability benefits could also be necessary

Sometimes, even with skilled rehabilitation support, an injured worker won’t recover full function or can’t go back to their previous line of employment. Those coping with reduced income because of a work-related medical issue may qualify for permanent partial disability benefits. They can receive compensation for their reduced income based on the lasting impact of their injury on their work.

Learning about the benefits available through workers’ compensation in Louisiana can help you manage a claim and ask for the benefits you need.