Healthy people often daydream about what it would be like not to have to go to work, but many people who are out of work because of an illness or injury would give anything to trade places with those workers who grumble about the daily grind.
Waking up early, commuting in rush hour traffic, putting up with your annoying co-workers and obnoxious boss, not having as much time as you would like to spend with your family, and feeling pressured to take money out of your holiday budget to participate in your work’s Secret Santa exchange are minor inconveniences compared to living with a chronic illness and the financial worries that go along with being unable to work. Social isolation is bad for one’s physical and mental health, so staying out of work for health reasons becomes a vicious cycle; the longer you are out of work, the harder it is to go back.
The vocational rehabilitation benefits available through the Workers’ Compensation Commission aim to prevent a situation in which people injured on the job in Illinois are powerless to do anything but sit at home getting sicker, poorer, and lonelier. If your employer has not offered you vocational rehabilitation benefits, or, conversely, if your employer has tried to pressure you into accepting them when returning to the workforce is not appropriate for you, contact a workers’ compensation attorney.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits and Their Beneficiaries
All injured workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of the severity of their injuries. In some cases, it only takes a few weeks before you make a full recovery; workers’ compensation covers your medical expenses during those few weeks, and then you go back to your same job. In other cases, the injury is so serious that the worker will never be able to return to work; there are workers’ compensation benefits for those injured workers, too. Vocational rehabilitation benefits are for workers who will be able to work again, but not in their previous, physically demanding job.
Imagine that a construction worker gets injured in an accident, and his injuries render him incapable of the prolonged standing and heavy lifting required in his previous job. Vocational rehabilitation benefits will pay for his training for another job with the same employer, such as bookkeeping. They will pay his tuition while he completes an accounting degree at his local community college. He may also be entitled to maintenance benefits, a monthly stipend that will cover his living expenses while he takes a full-time course load.
Is Vocational Rehabilitation Right for You?
Vocational rehabilitation benefits can greatly ease your financial burden, but they are not for everyone. If you are genuinely so seriously injured that you can no longer work, even in a less physically demanding role, contact a personal injury attorney.
Contact Walton Telken Attorneys at Law About Workers’ Compensation Cases
Personal injury attorneys know that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions in workers’ compensation cases. Contact Walton Telken Attorneys at Law in the Evansville, Illinois area to discuss your case.