Are You Entitled to Vocational Rehabilitation Under Workers’ Compensation in Fort Myers?

Most people know that, if they get hurt at work, they’ll receive weekly benefits. Most of our clients are also aware that their medical care will be covered. However, when our Fort Myers workers’ comp attorneys tell their clients that they may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation, they seem surprised.

Employees Who Qualify for Workers’ Compensation May Be Entitled to Certain Benefits

Of course, nobody is automatically entitled to any benefits under workers’ compensation in Florida. Your workers’ compensation lawyer in Fort Myers must first demonstrate that you meet the criteria for workers’ compensation.

Once your claim has been approved, your benefits will take effect. The three types of benefits you may be entitled to include:

  • Medical care
  • Weekly benefits
  • Vocational Rehabilitation

We’ll discuss each of these in turn below.

Medical Coverage for Injuries Related to Your Workplace Accident

It should come as no surprise that injured workers are entitled to medical care. You shouldn’t have to pay for your own medical bills. Even if you have insurance through work, why should you have to pay things like co-pays and deductibles?

The good news is that your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier will be responsible to cover these expenses. This includes any and all medical care related to your workplace accident.

Your coverage may include:

  • Hospital bills
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Emergency room visit
  • Prescription medication
  • Co-pays for doctors appointments
  • Physical therapy

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. Each case is special in its own way. Just know that your workers’ compensation lawyers in Fort Myers will make sure you aren’t personally billed for any of these things.

Weekly Replacement Wages 

While you’re out on workers’ compensation, you will receive financial benefits as well. These benefits will be paid bi-weekly and are equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wages.

It’s important to note that these benefits do not start until you have missed at least seven (7) days of work. If you end up missing more than twenty-one (21) days, you will receive retroactive payment for the first seven days.

Vocational Rehabilitation

One benefit available to Florida workers under workers’ compensation is vocational rehabilitation. Some Fort Myers workers comp attorneys refer to this benefit as job retraining.

Some people will not need this service. However, for people who can no longer do the same work they did prior to their injury, they can prove very useful.

If you can’t work in the job anymore due to a work injury, you can receive career counseling, training and education, and job placement services.

construction accident, workers' compensation and vocational rehabilitation concept

Your Fort Myers Workers Compensation Lawyers Understand That Not All Workers Are Eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation

The important thing about vocational rehabilitation is that they are not available to all recipients of workers’ compensation benefits. The purpose of vocational rehabilitation is to help people re-enter the workforce.

Employees can receive training, education, and other reemployment services.

If you recover enough from your workplace injuries to return to your previous job, you will not be able to avail yourself of vocational rehabilitation. These services are reserved for those people who truly need them.

Until 1979, Vocational Rehabilitation Was Only Available to Workers Who Were Permanently Disabled

Today, the only real requirement for receiving vocational rehabilitation is that you are not able to perform the duties of your previous job. However, it wasn’t always this way. The rules used to be even more strict.

Prior to 1979, the only claimants who could receive vocational rehabilitation were those workers who were deemed permanently disabled. Thankfully, the Florida legislature amended the law. This is why people who are not disabled but cannot perform their previous duties are eligible for these services today.

Your Fort Myers Workers Comp Attorney Can Help You Take Advantage of Vocational Rehabilitation

When it comes to your medical care and weekly benefits, your employer is responsible for ensuring their insurance company takes care of them. For example, your employer’s Human Resources Department must provide the insurance carrier with your wage and hours information.

Things work a bit differently when it comes to vocational rehabilitation. There are limited resources appropriated for the services that fall under vocational rehabilitation. If the fund runs out or there are no spots left in certain programs, you may not be allowed to join.

What your workers’ compensation lawyer in Fort Myers will do is follow up with the directors of these programs and make sure you get the help you need.

What Services Are Offered as Part of Vocational Rehabilitation in Fort Myers, Florida?

It is true that vocational rehabilitation is not available to all recipients of workers’ compensation. However, that is not the real problem. Our Fort Myers workers comp attorneys often have a hard time convincing their clients to take advantage of these services.

Some of the programs available as part of your vocational rehabilitation include the following:

  • Placement Services
  • Vocational Counseling
  • Job Seeking Assistance
  • Training and Education
  • Extended Financial Benefits

Some of our clients tell us that they aren’t the kind of person who needs vocational rehabilitation. Some of them point to their education and training as something that distinguishes them from the other people in these programs.

Once our workers’ compensation lawyers in Fort Myers convince these clients to get involved, they are usually happy that they did.

For Help Applying for Workers’ Comp Benefits, Call One of Our Fort Myers Workers Comp Attorneys

When some people are injured at work, they don’t file for workers’ compensation right away. Some of them assume they’ll be healed in a matter of days. Others don’t feel like they deserve workers’ compensation benefits.

What you need to do is call a Fort Myers workers comp attorney immediately after your workplace accident. You not only deserve workers’ compensation benefits – you need them.

If you can’t work in the same job anymore, you can take advantage of vocational rehabilitation. Florida workers’ compensation may career counseling, training and education, job placement services, and more.

We suggest you call our office so you can schedule your free, initial consultation with one of our skilled workers’ compensation lawyers in Fort Myers.