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Who is eligible to receive vocational rehabilitation in Maryland?

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2023 | workers' compensation |

Returning to work can be challenging, especially when grappling with a disability or recovering from an injury. The physical demands and the fear of risking another injury can add to stress levels. This can potentially slow down the recovery process. Maryland provides vocational rehabilitation, or “voc rehab,” to support workers facing these challenges. This program aims to equip them with new or improved skills for a smooth transition to a different job.

However, not everyone qualifies for these benefits. Eligibility depends on two main criteria.

For those with severe enough injuries

Maryland workers must understand two factors that affect their eligibility. The first factor is the severity of their work injury or illness. They must have sustained an injury or developed a condition severe enough to keep them from returning to their previous job. In some cases, the injury or illness might be so severe that it prevents them from working at all. The second factor is coverage under Maryland’s workers’ compensation laws. The worker must be an eligible employee under these laws. Also, their employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance funds the vocational rehabilitation services.

A severe injury is not the end of earning a livelihood

While participating in voc rehab, it’s worth noting that employers usually cover the program’s costs. These costs can include:

  • Vocational testing
  • Resume and interview services
  • Job placement
  • Job training
  • Continuing payment of wages

That said, the employer’s financial responsibility doesn’t impact a worker’s eligibility for these services. Despite the financial considerations, the focus remains on the individual’s needs. Ultimately, voc rehab primarily helps those unable to return to their previous job due to a severe work-related injury or illness. For these individuals, this program can be incredibly helpful. There are many benefits to participating in this program, including gaining new skills and increasing self-confidence. With their newfound skills, they can rejoin the workforce and earn a living again when ready.

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