Injured workers in New Orleans may file a workers’ compensation claim. This claim may provide you with coverage for wages lost due to your injury. In some cases, you may also be offered vocational rehabilitation (or rehab) services as part of the workers’ compensation program.
Vocational rehab may be presented as a service designed to help you get a new job. However, in many cases, it only serves to reduce or end your workers’ compensation benefits. Find out more about the purposes of vocational rehab here with the Morris Bart law firm. You may speak with one of our team members by calling us at (504) 613-4771.
Work to protect your benefits after an on-the-job injury by contacting us and learning how a New Orleans vocational rehabilitation lawyer can help.
Know the Laws Regarding Vocational Rehabilitation in New Orleans
The state of Louisiana uses a specific legal definition for vocational rehab services. According to Louisiana Revised Statute 23:1226, the purpose of rehab services is to allow you to return to work as quickly as possible after an injury. In order to accomplish this goal, you may be encouraged to return to:
- The position you held before your injury
- A similar position that has been modified
- An occupation related to your previous position
You may also be provided with training, including:
- On-the-job training
- Short-term retraining (for up to 26 weeks)
- Long-term retraining (for up to one year)
On the surface, vocational rehab may sound appealing to many people. After an injury, you may want to get back to work and return to a sense of normalcy. However, vocational rehab does not guarantee you a new job. The purpose of this service is to determine if you could return to work in some fashion so that workers’ compensation can reduce or end your benefits.
For a free legal consultation with a Vocational Rehabilitation lawyer serving New Orleans, call 800-537-8185
Understand the Vocational Rehab Process in Louisiana
Vocational rehab in New Orleans does not start immediately after you go on workers’ compensation. Likely, you may only be offered these services after your doctor approves you to return to work as long as you adhere to some restrictions. For example, if you are approved to handle light-duty tasks, you may then be offered vocational rehab services. Your vocational rehab process may be handled by:
- A vocational rehabilitation counselor
- A vocational rehabilitation specialist
Your counselor—or specialist—may perform a few assessments to determine what kind of work you can accomplish. The counselor assigned to your case may then:
Perform a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)
A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is an evaluation of your physical abilities after an on-the-job injury. FCEs are handled by physical therapists. You could expect an FCE to take several hours to complete. During the FCE, you may be asked to:
- Lift weights
- Climb stairs
- Stand or sit
- Carry boxes
A physical therapist may use the results of your FCE to determine what kinds of activities you can perform. Your stamina—or ability to perform the above tasks over an extended period of time—may also be assessed in an FCE.
Complete a Labor Market Survey
Once you complete an FCE, your vocational rehab counselor may prepare a Labor Market Survey. This process starts when the counselor meets with you. They may help you create a resume and even apply for jobs over the internet.
Your counselor may also meet with your doctor about the results of your FCE. The counselor may try to get your doctor to approve certain jobs based on the outcome of your FCE. After receiving approval, the counselor may complete the Labor Market Survey by sending you a list of jobs you could possibly perform in your area.
You do not have to be offered any job on the list to get taken off of workers’ compensation. You do not have to be hired. The counselor simply has to prove that there are jobs available that you could perform in order to remove your workers’ compensation benefits.
Get Legal Help Handling Vocational Rehab in New Orleans
As you can see, vocational rehab services may not be in your best interest in New Orleans. Fortunately, you may be able to get legal help on your side by contacting a New Orleans vocational rehabilitation lawyer as soon as you are hurt on the job. The Morris Bart law firm may be able to offer you assistance with your case, so call (504) 613-4771 today.
Our legal team understands the vocational rehab process in Louisiana. We may be able to assist you in maintaining your workers’ compensation benefits. Allow us to:
- Get you ready for your meeting with a vocational rehabilitation counselor.
- Go with you to meetings with your counselor.
- Attend any interviews with insurance representatives.
- Watch the vocational rehab process to ensure your rights are respected.
- Monitor the situation to ensure you aren’t coerced by your counselor.
- Provide guidance through the FCE process.
Our team may also be able to argue against the validity of any Labor Market Survey completed by your counselor. We may focus on researching the potential jobs listed on your Labor Market Survey to see if they actually:
- Adhere to your current work restrictions.
- Come with a job description to be assessed by your doctor.
- Are a good fit for your skills, training, or education.
- Are open and available for you to apply.
- Are located within 30 miles of your residence.
We may be able to support you if your workers’ compensation benefits are threatened by vocational rehab. You may also contact us right away after an on-the-job injury to get prompt help with all other aspects of your workers’ compensation claim.
Get Legal Help from a New Orleans Vocational Rehab Lawyer Now
You may want legal help handling the vocational rehab process in New Orleans. Start getting legal assistance now from the Morris Bart law firm. Reach out to us easily by calling (504) 613-4771. You may also complete our online contact form to get in touch with a team member for a consultation.
Find out how you may protect your workers’ compensation benefits with a New Orleans vocational rehabilitation lawyer right now.
to find a Morris Bart office near you.