When a Connecticut worker has become injured on the job, he or she may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits may provide coverage for an injured worker’s medical care, as well as for lost earnings. Additionally, many Connecticut workers may not be aware that workers’ compensation coverage also provides for vocational rehabilitation for many workers. Eligible workers are those who have suffered a permanent limitation that prevents them from doing their previous jobs.
Often, injured workers may experience reduced earning power due to the effects of an occupational disease or workplace accident. Vocational rehabilitation is designed to help provide a worker with the assistance he or she needs to overcome a loss of earning power that is both substantial and permanent, allowing him or her to resume working in a positon that is appropriate following an injury or illness. An injured worker does not have to wait until he or she reaches maximum medical improvement before seeking vocational rehabilitation and may apply at any time after a doctor notes that there may be a problem with a worker returning to his or her previous job.
Vocational rehabilitation services provided to individual Connecticut workers vary depending on a worker’s needs. Some services that may be provided include training and education so that a worker may qualify for a different type of job, interest or aptitude testing, vocational counseling, guidance regarding job seeking skills, as well as additional evaluation measures. Each individual who receives vocational rehabilitation services will work with a Rehabilitation Coordinator who will help the worker as he or she pursues new job opportunities.
As with many government programs, workers’ compensation can take time and and energy to research and apply for. An individual who has questions regarding available workers’ compensation benefits, including vocational rehabilitation services, may wish to consider consult with an attorney for additional guidance.
Source: wcc.state.ct.us, “State of Connecticut Workers Compensation Commission Information Packet,” accessed Oct. 21, 2016