If you are unable to return to the type of work that you did prior to your work injury, Florida law provides reemployment services. These services prepare you to return to the workforce at a job that will accommodate your permanent disability. You pay nothing for these reemployment services.
Here are some of the vocational rehabilitation services that you may be entitled to receive:
- Job coaching
- Medical assessment
- Vocational evaluation and planning
- Career guidance and counseling
- Jobsite accommodations
- Job placement
Although vocational rehabilitation is provided for under Florida law, many injured workers with significant permanent disabilities are denied this benefit by their employer’s insurance company. When an employee tries to compel an employer to provide vocational rehabilitation services, he or she is rarely successful.
Taking legal action
If an injured worker does not have an attorney, he or she should retain one at this juncture. An attorney will contact the employer’s insurance carrier and demand vocational rehabilitation benefits for the injured worker. If this is unsuccessful, the attorney will file for an Expedited Hearing at the Workers Compensation Appeals Board to force the employer to comply with the law. A workers compensation judge makes the final determination.
Workers Compensation insurance companies are often resistant to providing vocational rehabilitation and all other workers compensation benefits that an employee is entitled to receive. Sometimes an employer fails to report an on-the-job injury to an employer because insurance carriers often give lower rates to employers with a low injury rates on the job.
For all of these reasons and more, it is important that an injured worker retain a workers compensation attorney as soon as possible after being injured. Scott J. Sternberg & Associates is a law firm that has been helping injured workers for over 15 years. They stand ready to help you.