Vocational rehabilitation is an important part of the Michigan Workers Compensation System. When a worker suffers a job-related injury, there are several goals for the employer and the employee. First, it is essential that the employee receive wage loss benefits during the period of disability. Second, it is important that the medical bills and expenses are paid for the injuries. Third, there is a goal to return the employee back to work in the same capacity or in a new capacity after the injury.
Section 319 of the Michigan Workers Compensation Act provides that a worker has a right to vocational rehabilitation benefits. Vocational rehabilitation varies greatly and ranges from returning the employee back to work with some minor changes to creating an entirely new position or job with the company to accommodate the employee. It often requires short-term training or even additional education to return the employee to work with the same company or even a different company.
Employers and insurance companies push for vocational rehabilitation because they want injured employees to return to work so they do not have to continue to pay wage loss benefits. Many times, they will hire a private outside counselor to evaluate the worker, recommend training, and help find a return to work or other job with a different employer. Generally speaking, the employee must cooperate with this type of program or wage loss benefits can be terminated.
Frequently, the employer will attempt to return an injured worker to a job that he or she cannot perform. When the employee cannot do the job, benefits are then terminated. Our Michigan workers’ compensation attorneys assist those employees in recovering their full benefits. Call us today at (800) 606-1717 to discuss your case and to see how we can help you get the insurance benefits that you are entitled to under Michigan law. Call today to speak with an experienced attorney to get started today.