As a result of a workplace accident, some Nebraska workers suffer persistent disabilities or difficulties that do not allow them to resume their normal job even after a period of medical recovery and rehabilitation. In such a case, a worker may need to explore other work options. Fortunately, the state workers’ compensation law provides eligible workers with vocational rehabilitation.
The Nebraska Department of Administrative Services explains that a vocational rehabilitation plan helps a worker attain a new state of employment. A court must approve a vocational rehabilitation plan for it to go into effect. During this time, a worker shall receive total temporary disability while the worker undergoes rehabilitation and seeks a return to employment.
To come up with a suitable vocational rehabilitation plan, the worker and relevant parties should explore various options for returning to work. Some workers, even after sustaining a severe injury, might remain capable enough to return to their old job after some rehabilitation. Alternatively, employers may keep an injured worker but retrain that worker for a different job within the workplace.
In the event an injured worker cannot find any work with an existing employer, a vocational rehabilitation plan may try to place the worker with a different employer. This plan will take into account the capabilities of the injured worker and help the worker find a suitable job. If necessary, a rehabilitation plan may retrain the worker through classes or forms of vocational training.
The state provides a number of vocational rehabilitation services to help prepare workers for a new job. Workers who meet state requirements may receive coverage for retraining or educational costs, and also assistance to learn how to interview with new employers. In short, workers’ compensation presents many options to help injured workers return to the workforce in some capacity.