Certified Rehabilitation Counselor for Nurses
Nurses face more wear and tear on their musculoskeletal system, as well as more acute risks when on the job than many casual observers realize. After getting injured on the job, you may not be able to continue working as a nurse. You may need the vocational rehabilitation to which you’re entitled under certain circumstances, as provided by the Illinois workers’ compensation law. Certified rehabilitation counselors for nurses must understand the tasks being performed at the time of a work accident, as well as any physical restrictions nurses face as a result of their job-related injuries and illnesses. They must be credible when testifying before an arbitrator about what types of vocational rehabilitation would be appropriate. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our dedicated Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers have six decades building the experience necessary to provide counsel to make sure you get back on your feet, both financially, and in terms of a career path, after suffering work-related injuries while nursing. We know it can be devastating to lose a nursing job and career you worked hard to secure.Certified Rehabilitation Counselor for Nurses
In Illinois, prior to initiating vocational rehabilitation, our attorneys will need to make sure your treating doctor believes you are at maximum medical improvement. This is the point at which you are not likely to improve or worsen. This is the point at which you are stabilized. If you have improved to the extent possible, we will need to figure out whether you have permanent work limits through a functional capacity evaluation.
When the hospital or other provider for which you work for can accommodate your work limits without you losing income, there will be no further analysis in connection with vocational rehabilitation, and you will need to return to your nursing job or another job with your employer that pays the same amount.
However, if the hospital or other health care provider for which you work can’t accommodate your restrictions, our Chicago lawyers will need to start an analysis to see whether retaining a certified rehabilitation counselor is appropriate. Factors related to your nursing job that could impact this analysis include:
- Loss of earnings.
- Loss of job security.
- The likelihood you could get a different job once you’ve seen a certified rehabilitation counselor.
If you’ve had past vocational rehabilitation efforts, or other characteristics make you unsuitable for retraining, you are unlikely to be entitled to a certified rehabilitation counselor. Similarly, if you already have skills and necessary to get other employment, you will not be given a certified rehabilitation counselor. It is crucial to retain a lawyer who understands these factors and how to make a persuasive case for why you should see a counselor.Picking a Credible Certified Rehabilitation Counselor in Chicago
In Illinois, the healthcare provider for which you work, and its insurer should pay the bills of the certified rehabilitation counselor. As part of its evaluation, your counselor will evaluate to what extent you need services. For example, if your primary nursing tasks involved lifting patients and conducting similarly strenuous tasks, the counselor will look at whether you can still perform those tasks.
Your doctor’s evaluation is very important to the assessment performed by the certified rehabilitation counselor who will review:
- Your medical records
- Evaluations as to your functional capacity
- Work status reports
- Reports by the independent medical examiner (IME) retained by your employer and its insurer.
Other personal attributes and work history, as well as any job interests that you report yourself, will also be considered. For instance, if you worked as a secretary prior to becoming a nurse and are interested in going back to an administrative position, in order to avoid the strenuous physical tasks that you performed as a nurse, a certified rehabilitation counselor will consider whether this is a path for which you need vocational rehabilitation.Hire a Law Firm That Represents Nurses
Finding a certified rehabilitation counselor for nurses may be a challenging task. Sometimes skills it took years to build cannot be transferred outside a health care context. It is important to retain counsel that understands the specific duties nurses have on the job. Our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers handle the claims of nurses in Champaign, Rockford, Quincy, and Aurora, along with Cook, Kane, Sangamon, Winnebago, and Adams Counties. We also handle Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims and third-party lawsuits on behalf of nurses. Call us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or complete our online form.