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Vocational Rehabilitation

Dave Langevin - Thursday, March 03, 2016

Minnesota Workers’ Compensation law allows for a process known as “rehabilitation.” This does not mean medical rehabilitation, but rather assistance in preparing for and returning to employment. Rehabilitation has been part of Minnesota law since 1979, and it acts as important tool to help employees return to work.

The main goal of rehabilitation is to help an employee return to the job that they had before their injury. If this is not possible, then an attempt is made to help the employee return to a modified job and to increase their employability by teaching them new or additional skills. Rehabilitation for a higher paying job is acceptable if it can be shown that the rehabilitation would increase employability.

Courts must determine whether a specific job is suitable for rehabilitation. In making this determination, the court can look to employee’s age, education, previous work history, interests, and skills. An employee may not refuse rehabilitation for a job simply because they do not like the work or would rather do something else. The standard for job suitability does not require that it is the employee’s ideal job.

The rehabilitation process starts with a visit to a rehabilitation consultant. This person screens the employee to determine whether they are qualified for rehabilitation services. If the consultant determines that the employee is entitled to rehabilitation, then they can help the employee determine which services they need. These services can include vocational evaluation, counseling, job analysis, job modification, job training, and many others.

If you get hurt at work, it can be scary. You need someone who can protect your rights and ensure that you and your family are taken care of. Give us a call. We can help.