Vocational Rehabilitation was designed to help an employee become self-supporting again. If the employee was injured in a way that prevents them from being able to return to their previous type of employment, rehabilitation was looked into. The first step was to determine whether vocational rehabilitation was an option for the employee’s specific case. Together with their employer and a rehabilitation counselor, a feasibility assessment was made. If appropriate, the three continue forward to create a plan.
Vocational Rehabilitation works similar to temporary disability benefits. The injured employee is entitled to receive two-thirds of their job income as a stipend to help with living expenses while they are in the rehabilitation process. The maximum payment amount that is allowed by law for rehabilitation is lower than the maximum amount allowed for temporary disability however. Depending on the circumstances, employees are allowed to supplement their stipend payment by taking advance payments from permanent disability benefits.
Employees who were injured on the job on or after January 1, 2003 are eligible for a lump sum settlement from vocational rehabilitation if they have an attorney.
Injuries that occurred after January 1, 2004 are not eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation benefits. They may instead be qualified for Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits.