New Orleans Vocational Rehabilitation Lawyer
Most injured workers are desperate to get back to work. But serious injuries often impede them, and some find that they absolutely cannot return to their old job. At that point, injured workers usually reach for vocational rehabilitation. Defined simply, vocational rehabilitation involves teaching a worker how to do an old job a new way or, more commonly, teaching them an entirely new vocation. When done right, vocational rehabilitation allows even badly injured workers to begin supporting themselves again.
In Louisiana, injured workers have a right to vocational rehabilitation. But some insurers resist any requirement that they pay for it, or there might be other roadblocks they throw in a worker’s way. If you’ve been denied benefits, it’s time to contact Lunsford Basking & Priebe, PC. Our New Orleans vocational rehabilitation lawyer will meet with you to discuss your case.
How Vocational Rehabilitation Works in New Orleans
The fact that a worker suffers a permanent injury does not mean they cannot work. Often, they might still be able to work if they shift to a different profession. Vocational rehabilitation helps with that. Some examples include:
- A warehouse worker with permanent paralysis in an arm might have to switch to a different profession, like working at a call center.
- A police officer who worked the beat might be unable to stand for periods of time. Vocational rehabilitation can help them transition to a desk job in the police force.
- A worker with hearing loss might be unable to work with the public anymore. However, they could find a job that doesn’t require contact with the public, like being a library assistant or a janitor.
Your employer’s insurance provider is responsible for hiring a qualified vocational rehabilitation specialist to work with you. This person can help identify job training, education opportunities, or job openings as part of your rehab.
When done right, vocational rehab provides the necessary tools for workers to get back into the job force. Unfortunately, Louisiana law allows many employers and insurers to use vocational rehabilitation to deny injured workers badly needed benefits.
For example, the vocational rehabilitation specialist will probably perform a Labor Market Survey to identify jobs within your region that you could perform. Once a job is identified, your insurer can cut off indemnity benefits—even if you don’t secure employment in the new job. You can lose benefits even if you don’t have the experience to get hired for this position.
In other words, instead of being a benefit to help workers get back on their feet, vocational rehab is a tool for saving insurers money. And injured workers lose out in the process.
Lean On Our Experience
If you have a dispute regarding vocational rehabilitation, or if you have a question, contact our law firm today. We know our way around the complicated Louisiana workers’ compensation system. We have obtained vocational rehabilitation benefits for many workers and can assist you in getting the benefits you need. Contact our New Orleans vocational rehabilitation lawyer today.