Returning to work is sometimes really hard after a work injury. The specific training and skills you have learned for your job may be unusable if your injury restricts what you can do. An employer can offer certain accommodations to help you get back to work, but employers are not always required to do so.
Some of the solution may be the help of a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC). This is a neutral person that can help coordinate your medical care, help make clear what your restrictions may be, assist all parties in communicating with each other – and help you and your employer find work you CAN do. The QRC can also help coordinate a search for a new job if your employer does not or cannot provide one within your restrictions. Finally, in some cases, the QRC can help you get some retraining.
The help of a QRC is, in Minnesota, a workers\’ compensation benefit paid for by the workers’ compensation insurer if an injury is admitted – or by the State if the injury is denied. The QRC, as you can see, can help address your needs and assist you in recovering from your injuries. At Harvey & Carpenter, Attorneys at Law, our attorneys represent individuals throughout Southern Minnesota whose lives have been affected by work-related accidents, repetitive stress injuries, or other physical impairments caused by the injury or injuries sustained at work. We can help you get a QRC and help guide you through the process. We also, of course, go after all the benefits you are entitled to.
With over 50 years of experience, we pride ourselves on offering stability, unwavering support, and a concern for our client’s well-being. We will provide you with the support you need to pursue your claim during this challenging time.
Retraining May Be Needed Before Returning to Work
After suffering an injury, many workers are able to return to work and to have their lives return to normal. We know that workers do not want to spend a significant time away from their job, nor do they want to be reliant on workers\’ compensation benefits. Vocational rehabilitation through a QRC and the rehabilitation system is there to address your concerns. Injured workers who qualify for vocational rehabilitation or even retraining can use these services to help them return to work in a position related to their previous employment or to find employment that places them in a financial situation similar to one they would be in had they never been injured.
When you pursue workers\’ compensation benefits and rehabilitation benefits, you may need help to find a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC) who can help you create a plan that works best for you. We can help you to prove your eligibility for a QRC and help you choose one. That can be complicated, but we have a lot of experience doing this.
What Benefits Are Available?
To help an injured worker find their way back into the workforce, workers\’ compensation rehabilitation and retraining benefits cover a variety of services. Some services you can expect to receive if you qualify for Rehabilitation and Retraining benefits include:
- Job development (including determining if you can return to your old job at your regular employer or at a different job with that same employer)
- Retraining in some cases (brief or extended). NOTE: in most cases a claim for retraining (school, for example) must be filed within 208 weeks of paid benefits on a case.
- Job placement if you need to look for a new job
- Job-seeking training if you need help to effectively present yourself as you look for work
- Job environment modification at your old employer or at a new job
- Strategic planning for medical treatment with vocational rehabilitation in mind
Depending on your eligibility you may also be entitled to services such as travel costs, payments for educational purposes, and moving expenses.
Are You Entitled to Rehabilitation Benefits?
You are entitled to rehabilitation services if you are deemed a qualified employee. In order for this to happen, the employee, employers, and medical doctor will need to provide the necessary information. When you are considered eligible to receive the above services, everyone will need to create and agree to the rehabilitation plan. The services will be provided after the plan has been written.
You are deemed a qualified employee for many rehabilitation services if you have continuing restrictions.
It is difficult to get retraining (school), but you may even qualify for retraining if any of the following apply:
- You are not able to return to your usual field of work or to another position with your previous employer
- You are not able to work within the same industry
- You are not able to earn a living similar to your previous situation through rehabilitation without the addition of retraining services
If rehabilitation or retraining is not approved or ordered by a judge, the insurance company will not pay for any of the rehabilitation services from a Qualified Rehabilitation Counselor or for retraining. We are here to assist in having the insurance company be required to provide the services you are entitled to. In the meantime, in Minnesota, the State can provide these services even if your whole claim has been denied by the workers’ compensation insurer. We will look at all the options and help you get the assistance you need. This is why contacting an experience attorney is so critical.
Do You Have to Do a Job Search?
Injured workers have rights and responsibilities under the law. For instance, if you receive benefits from the Workers\’ Compensation Act or if you feel you are entitled to benefits under the Workers\’ Compensation Act, you will need to perform a job search. This includes actively searching for work and applying for jobs as long as it has been determined you can return to work. Your QRC will help you perform an effective job search, and your QRC will show you how to ensure each job search is being properly documented.
Workers\’ Compensation Claim
As with any workers\’ compensation claim, many injured workers will have to fight for the rehabilitation and retraining benefits to which they are entitled. This can be for various reasons. Injuries will need to be reported as quickly as possible, and a formal workers\’ compensation claim will need to be filed within the specific deadline. Under Minnesota law, notice must be given within 180 days after it has become apparent that the workplace-related injury has resulted in a disability compensable by workers\’ compensation.
Failure to file a claim in time can delay or preclude you from receiving benefits. Various claims can be made by insurance companies to prevent you from obtaining the benefits you feel you are entitled to, including:
- The insurance company may claim that your injury or injuries are exaggerated or did not happen on the job
- The insurance company may say that your injury is “pre-existing” – meaning that it is personal to you and was there all the time – and had nothing to do with your work
- The insurance company may claim that you were engaging in misconduct at the time of your injury
- The insurance company may claim that you are seeking benefits that are not reasonable
After the accident or injury, it is important to contact an experienced workers\’ compensation attorney as quickly as possible to ensure your rights are preserved and that you know what your responsibilities are. We do not charge you for contacting us or for our advice. We work on a contingency basis – you do NOT get a bill.
We will fight for our clients\’ rights to receive all the workers\’ compensation benefits and services they are entitled to. We will also help clients who want to continue working to find the best way to get to that goal. Our job is to find the rehabilitation and retraining benefits available to you in your specific case so that you can get back to supporting yourself and your family – either by working or by receiving workers’ compensation benefits and services or by some combination of these things customized for you.
File a Worker’s Compensation Claim in Southern Minnesota with Harvey & Carpenter
Rehabilitation and retaining benefits are designed to protect your earning power when you have been injured at work. With over 50 years of experience in work injury cases, our team will assist you in protecting your rights and your needs, while fulfilling your desire to continue working. Call 507-779-7529 or email [email protected] today to request a consultation. You can also complete our online form to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.