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Does workers' comp cover retraining?

If your workplace injuries prevent you from returning to your position, you may qualify for vocational rehabilitation services provided through Wisconsin’s workers' compensation program. According to the Dept. of Workforce Development, services can include retraining or help to find a suitable replacement job if you meet eligibility requirements and are not already receiving such services under another agreement.

You must first submit documentation of any work restrictions you have to the company where you worked at the time of the accident. This initial step gives the employer the opportunity to determine whether there is work you can do and offer you “suitable” employment. Along with being able to accommodate your physical restrictions, suitable work is a position in which you can earn at least 90 percent of the salary you were receiving when hurt.

Additional requirements are that you remain unemployed or are working at a job that is not suitable. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation must also make a determination of your eligibility within 60 days of your application. The DVR will either provide these services or refer you to another provider.

You can choose the type of job for which you want to receive training and the kind of services you need to meet your job goals. Unless the need for retraining is being disputed, the employer’s insurance provider must pay your temporary total disability benefits while you are retraining or attending school. Along with those costs, the employer is also responsible for reimbursing you for mileage to and from school, as well as any books, tuition and other school fees.

You can also rest easy that counseling, retraining and job placement are free. For certain services, you may be asked to pay some of the fees. However, your counselor will discuss that with you beforehand.

This article containing general information that is not intended as legal advice.

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Paul M. Erspamer Law Offices, S.C.

Paul M. Erspamer Law Offices, S.C.
8112 West Bluemound Road
Suite 108
Wauwatosa, WI 53213

Phone: 414-727-7003
Fax: 414-727-7004
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