Can Workers’ Compensation Pay For Your Vocational Training?
While they may not understand every aspect of workers’ compensation, most people know that it pays for their medical bills, and some portion of their lost wages while they take time off work to recover from their injuries. But workers’ compensation covers more than just medical expenses and partial wage replacement—it can also be used for vocational training if you are injured to a degree that a disability keeps you from being able to perform the work that you once did.
Why Job Training May be Necessary After Your Accident
Employees who get injured on the job face an uphill battle when it comes to fair treatment. Here in Florida, as with virtually all other states, the workers’ compensation system has been weakened over the years by employers lobbying state lawmakers to put their best interests first, instead of workers. Workers also face misclassification issues when they are classified as independent contractors, which makes it almost impossible to receive any workers’ compensation benefits. While workplace injuries are on the decline, nationally, those who do get injured are likely to lose 15 percent of their average wages in the 10-year period following their workplace accident or illness, according to the Washington Post. Many workers—especially those who work in manual labor—are disabled to the point that they can no longer earn the wages they did before the accident. If they have no other job skills or education comparable to the skills they had as a roofer (for example), they often believe they have nowhere to turn, and simply take the pay cut or work fewer hours. You do not have to be subjected to this type of treatment by your employer. You have the option to use every resource at your disposal to get back on your feet and become fully self sufficient, and earn the wages you did before the workplace accident.
Qualifying for Reemployment
You may be able to apply for reemployment training directly from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. If this is not an option provided by the insurance company, or you have been denied, you may also file a screen request through the Florida Department of Workers’ Compensation. According to Florida’s Division of Workers’ Compensation, the four main criteria for qualifying for this type of reemployment training include the following:
- You have a compensable injury or illness covered under Florida workers’ compensation law;
- The accident happened on or after 10/01/1989;
- You are legally eligible to work in the United States, and
- You must submit a “Request for Screening” within one year of your last lost wages receipt or medical benefits.
Types of Reemployment Training Offered by the Florida Department of Workers’ Compensation
Due to your work injury or illness, if you are unable to earn at least 80 percent of your previous average weekly wages, you may qualify for the following types of reemployment services:
- Vocational counseling;
- Job-seeking skills training;
- Job analysis;
- Transferable skills analysis;
- Selective job placement;
- Training; and
Call a Pompano Beach Workers’ Compensation Attorney
An experienced South Florida workers’ compensation attorney can discuss your options if you were recently injured on the job, and wish to be retrained for another position or line of work. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. today at 954-807-1334 to schedule a free consultation.