When a work accident results in a severe disability, it can impact your work options and earning capacity.
The job retraining workers’ comp program helps permanently disabled workers prepare for a new job and meet their financial needs.
What is the job retraining program?
The job retraining program is a workers’ comp benefit. A vocational rehabilitation counselor will help the injured employee enroll in an educational program that will lead to employment in a more accommodating field. During the training period, workers’ comp payments will continue until the participant can enter the workforce and access gainful employment. If the new job pays lower wages than their previous employment situation, they will continue to receive a workers’ comp payment that makes up the difference.
Who is eligible?
Three criteria determine whether someone is eligible for the job retraining workers’ comp program:
- The employer did not offer alternative or modified work within 60 days of a doctor’s report outlining work restrictions for the employee.
- The employee must have a permanent disability, meaning doctors agree that the impairment is lasting and not expected to improve.
- The employee must be incapable of performing the same job they held before the accident and resulting injuries.
Anyone meeting these qualifications could receive a retraining voucher. This voucher covers all retraining expenses, and 10% can go toward career counseling, such as interview training or resume help.
A job retraining voucher is only redeemable for expenses related to the program, and the employee must use it within two years of its issue date or five years of the injury.