While many employees receive workers’ compensation until they're able to resume work, some injuries may prevent employees from ever returning to their former employment.
One of the lesser-known benefits available through workers’ compensation is vocational retraining services, which allows claimants to learn new skills and transfer into new occupational fields at no cost to them.
Vocational Rehabilitation Under the Florida Workers' Comp System
The Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation Reemployment Services Program helps injured workers who are unable to earn at least 80 percent of their compensation rate after a work-related injury qualify for new employment.
To be eligible, you must have an injury or illness that qualifies for Florida workers’ compensation; be legally able to work in the United States; and have suffered the injury on or after October 1st, 1989.
Benefits of the retraining program include:
- Continuation of financial support. Workers who enroll in a state-sponsored vocational training program can receive workers' compensation benefits for up to 52 weeks as long as they continue to make sufficient academic progress.
- Free tuition and materials. In most cases, the only expense not covered by the State of Florida is transportation to and from required classes. All other services, including tuition, books, vocational counseling, analysis of transferable skills, resume building and job-seeking courses, job placement services, and on-the-job training are provided at no cost to eligible injured workers.
- Job placement assistance. Some locations may offer job market information and placement services as part of their vocational counseling services, while others may refer students to other job placement agencies.
Workers are required to apply for the Reemployment Services Program, including providing any documentation required for eligibility consideration. Before accepting a claimant, staff members conduct a vocational assessment to determine eligibility for any or all of the retraining services.
During the screening process, staff may examine medical and vocational records; perform basic employment testing; provide early job placement assistance; and otherwise determine if an injured worker can perform any duties from his or her former occupation.
If you're unable to return to your former job after a work injury, our qualified Florida workers' compensation attorneys can explain your options in a free case evaluation. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page today to get started.