If you were injured at work in Minnesota and cannot perform your old job duties, you may be eligible for retraining. Retraining helps workers who can return to work but have suffered an injury that restricts them from working in the same capacity. It involves taking classes or vocational courses in a school setting that teach the worker how to perform another job.
Retraining aims to return a worker to either a job related to his former employment or a job in another area that allows him to remain at a similar economic status. To obtain the retraining benefit in Minnesota, you need to qualify for vocational rehabilitation services. Then you must show that retraining is necessary to allow you to return to a job with similar pay as your job before you were injured. People who cannot perform their former job, cannot perform a similar job at the same employer without further education, and can show that further education will help them get a job are good candidates for retraining.
There are several factors considered when determining if retraining is right for you, including:
- the reasonableness of receiving retraining versus you returning to work with your former employer or through job placement activities;
- the likelihood that you will succeed in a formal course of study given your abilities and interests;
- the likelihood that retraining will result in a reasonably attainable employment; and
- the likelihood that retraining will produce an economic status as close as possible to that which you would have had without the disability.
(Poole v. Farmstead Foods, 42 W.C.D. 970, 978 (W.C.C.A. 1989).)
Usually, you and your lawyer will have explored other means of returning to work before you seek retraining. For example, you may have worked with a qualified rehabilitation consultant and tried to return to your former job or a related job. If these efforts fail, but you could still work if you learned a new skill, retraining may be appropriate for you.
Since forgoing retraining and earning a lower wage can have significant long-term consequences, make a strong case for retraining if it will get you back to work at similar pay. A lawyer can explain to the insurance company why you cannot get jobs with similar pay with your current skills.
A worker seeking retraining must file his request for retraining before he has received 208 weeks of wage-loss benefits. The insurance company should send a notification out in advance of the 208-week limit.
Need help getting vocational rehabilitation services due to a workplace injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.