Whenever workers are injured on the job, whether in Michigan or another state, their first priority must be to obtain the proper medical care. Once that has been taken care of, they can then file a workers’ compensation claim in order to receive much needed benefits. As time passes, these injured workers may continue to get medical treatment as well as physical therapy in order to help them recover more completely. But there is another important benefit that that is available for injured Michigan workers. Vocational rehabilitation can also help them when they physically return to their job.
Under the Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation Act, workers who are receiving workers’ compensation benefits have the right to receive vocational rehabilitation help when they return to work. This type of help can vary and can sometimes be minor, such as when an employer makes a small change to the worker’s job in order to accommodate that worker’s medical constraint. The rehabilitation can also involve additional assistance such as if a professional rehabilitation counselor works with the worker’s employer to help the injured worker return to their job by doing either the same or perhaps even different tasks.
Vocational rehabilitation is not a one size fits all benefit. Each worker receives assistance that is based on their individual needs. Rehabilitation services usually include such areas as counseling, where the worker gets direction in choosing a job that fits their abilities, vocational assessment, where the worker’s skills and interest are evaluated in order to decide on the right position and on-the-job training where an employee receives instruction for a particular position for a certain length of time.
There are other important areas within vocational rehabilitation with which a returning worker needs to be familiar. Additional information on the topic can be found here. However, it is very important for an injured worker to realize that workers’ compensation benefits provide more than just financial assistance.
Source: Workers’ Compensation Agency. “Vocational Rehabilitation for Injured Employees.” March 30, 2015