After an injury, workers may think they won't be able to go back to work. The truth is that most workers can go through rehabilitation to obtain the training they need to get back on the job. Vocational rehabilitation is an important part of the workers' compensation program in your state. Its goal is to help you get back to working a job that supports you and your family.
The services offered to you that could help you get back to work after a workplace injury include on-the-job training, labor market surveys, job analyses, ergonomics assessments, reasonable accommodation assistance through the Americans with Disabilities Act and education and tuition payments if you need retraining. There are also other services you may be able to access after your work-related injury, depending on your state's current laws and regulations.
Vocational rehabilitation is important not only for you but also for the economy. The state needs to have people in jobs, because jobs boost the income of individuals and support spending. Thus, having more people in work means more people have money to spend, which keeps the state economy strong.
If you are struggling with your injury and don't believe you can return to the work you did before, it's important to say so and to ask for accommodations. Your employer should provide you with information on rehabilitative services, so you can look into your options. If you aren't given an opportunity to retrain but have lost the ability to obtain gainful employment with your previous skills, it may be your right to pursue a claim.
Source: FindLaw, "Rehabilitation Rights of Injured Workers," accessed Nov. 07, 2017