29 Aug What Should You Know About Your Rights to Vocational Rehabilitation Services in Arizona
If you have been working with an Arizona employer doing heavy construction work and you have a work-related injury that removes you from working that same type of job again, you can still come back to work in a different capacity. Depending on the injury, you could decide that you still have value to your employer because of the working knowledge you have to offer, such as becoming a manager over a team that works in a section of construction for what you used to work in.
Even if there is a manager in place, you could come back in at an assistant level to help with office duties, such as planning rotation schedules and taking on other jobs that help the manager and the team. However, you may have deficiencies in typing capabilities, or working with office documents, such as creating schedules in Microsoft Excel, or knowing how to research on the internet for the information you need to conduct the new job properly.
Employer Vocational Rehabilitation
Your employer may be willing to have you go through local or onsite job training classes to get your typing up to speed, and to learn how to work with office documents on a computer, so that you can fill a need in the office once you are ready. But if your employer has no place for you to step back in, you can turn to the state for vocational rehabilitation.
The ICA Special Fund Division
You should check first with your employer about any rehabilitation services you already have a right to, due to your injury. Injuries sustained on the job and subsequent vocational rehabilitation, will generally fall under the Industrial Commission of Arizona’s (ICA) Special Fund Division and its Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program.
To qualify, your medical determination should be categorized as unable to return to the same job you had, before you had your work-related accident. You can find out more about your eligibility by going to the ICA web page here, where you will find the name of the claims manager and email, along with a phone number to call.
You may be referred to the Special Funds Vocational Rehabilitation Referral website where a third-party administrator (TPA) will fill out forms for you to be referred for vocational rehabilitation. Be sure you know who your TPA should be, to fill out those forms. Always ask, if you do not know, or ask your workers’ compensation attorney for information.
Arizona Department of Economic Security (ADES)
Dependent on your individual situation, you may end up at the ADES for post-injury VR. The ADES maintains the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program which services those people with disabilities who choose to enter (or re-enter) the workforce. There are several requirements that determine whether you are eligible for this program, although if you are referred by the Special Fund Administration, you will be served quicker because it is paid for by the Special Fund. You can find the ADES requirements list here for eligibility.
There is always hope for regaining a productive life where you can find work that gives you the satisfaction of being capable to offer your services once again in your community. If you need help with your workers’ compensation claim and the potential need for vocational rehabilitation, call us at once for a free consultation. 602-346-9009.