L&I Vocational Rehabilitation
If your injury continues to completely inhibit your ability to work, vocational rehabilitation (job retraining) may be available as a Washington workers’ compensation benefit.
What Are Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits?
Sometimes referred to as vocational training, vocational rehabilitation is a benefit sometimes offered to an injured worker in lieu of other benefits, such as a pension.
The process consists of L&I referring you to a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) who will assess your abilities and decide what other jobs you can do. Typically, you are then offered training in a line of work different from the one you performed at your job where the injury took place, and in line with the work restrictions resulting from the injury.
Is Vocational Rehabilitation Good Or Bad?
Vocational retraining can seem like a good thing at face value—you are given a chance to learn a new job or continue working and provide an income for your family. However, if you are sent to a VRC, be very cautious.
Vocational retraining is a tactic by L&I to certify you as able to work in some other line of work. For example, L&I has been known to assess a worker and claim they are able to work as a “cashier” even when the worker is clearly unable to perform that job, or any other job due to their injuries. VRCs can be adept at their jobs of classifying workers at various positions, and the VRCs work is often calculated to ensure that injured workers do not receive other benefits to which they are entitled, such as a pension.
Should You Hire A Lawyer For A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If you are referred to a VRC, it’s important to seek legal advice immediately. Just because you are eligible for workers’ comp does not mean that you are guaranteed the assistance. The claims process can be time-consuming and complex, filled with red tape, paperwork, and legal technicalities. Without the right tools and resources, navigating the maze of an L&I claim can easily aggravate a stressful situation.
The L&I attorneys at Emery | Reddy, PLLC will fight for your interests when the Department of Labor & Industries or your self-insured employer denies compensation, benefits, or the medical care you deserve for your injuries.
Call Emery | Reddy today to find out how we can help you get the benefits that you need and deserve. Please remember to have your L&I claim number readily available.