After a work injury, many people are interested in when they can return to work. However, when it’s a serious injury, you may not be able to return to work in the same capacity as you did before the injury. Aside from getting compensation for this, you are also entitled to retraining benefits. Today, we take a closer look at the retraining laws after a work injury in Minnesota.
Understanding Retraining Options
Retraining is important if a work injury has prevented you from performing the same duties you did prior to the injury. For example, if a back injury on the production line leaves you unable to work in the production plant, retraining benefits may allow you to be retrained to stay with the company in a different, less physical department. It can also help retrain you to find a new job if a work injury makes it impossible to continue working with the same company.
The fact that Minnesota’s retraining law is not well defined is actually great for injured workers. This means the retraining options are open for interpretation and can be implemented on a case-by-case basis. You can be retrained to work in a different department or to get a job with a new company as mentioned above, or retraining can cover the cost of vocational classes or college courses to help you learn a new skill to make you desirable to employers.
If retraining is granted through your workers’ compensation claim, it will cover all expenses related to retraining, so keep a thorough list of expenses. Covered expenses include but aren’t limited to:
- Cost of vocational courses
- Travel expenses
Am I Eligible For Retraining?
Not everyone is eligible for retraining benefits. If you think you’ll need retraining, the best thing you can do is to contact a workers’ compensation attorney because you need to prove that it is necessary in order to return to a job with similar pre-injury pay. When you consider how much money you could be missing out on because a work injury forced you into a lesser-paying job, it’s essential that you hire an attorney who can clearly paint a picture as to why retraining is necessary.
If you believe you will need retraining, you’ll sit down with your attorney and a qualified rehabilitation consultant to develop a retraining plan. Once you’ve discussed your wants and needs, you’ll formulate a retraining plan and submit it to the insurance company. If they approve the plan you can begin your retraining program knowing that your expenses will be covered, but if they deny it, the case will go in front of a judge. A judge will usually weighs four key points when deciding the matter, and they are:
- The reasonableness of retraining compared to other job modifications.
- Whether the injured worker has the ability and the interest to succeed with the proposed retraining request.
- If the retraining plan will likely result in employment.
- If the retraining plan will help the employee find a job with a similar pre-injury wage.
For more information on retraining options, or if you think you’ll need retraining after a work injury, make it a point to contact Dean Margolis today.