Thursday, June 1, 2017

Vocational Rehabilitation

Many injured workers are unable to return to their former line of work due to physical or medical limitations.  For example, a shop worker who must regularly lift and carry 60-pound objects needs to find a new line of work if he hurts his back and gets a lumbar fusion.  Such a worker may be a good candidate for vocational rehabilitation services at the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR).

USOR services are good if medical problems require you to change careers.  At USOR, you'll attend an orientation and be placed on a waiting list.  The process can take several months so it is good to contact USOR sooner than later.  USOR's website is www.usor.utah.gov and the phone number for the Southern Utah District Office is (435) 673-5091.

USOR services are helpful in two ways:  First, and most obviously, USOR can help many injured workers get back into a career and earn a living.  Second is the evidence benefit:  If USOR is unable to rehabilitate an injured worker, then that is good evidence to support the workers compensation claim for permanent total disability (PTD).  (It can also be good evidence to support an SSDI claim.)

If you do not receive USOR services, the most important documentation is still the work restrictions you receive from your treating physician, e.g., no lifting > 20 lbs.

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