Certified Rehabilitation Counselor for State Troopers
State troopers are entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits. As a state trooper, you likely perform many different tasks including preliminary investigation, traffic duty, search and arrest, crowd control, surveillance, and reporting. You may be involved with roadside checks. You may be constantly exposed to on-the-job risks. If you have suffered serious injuries as a state trooper, it is imperative that you retain an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer. You may be able to obtain the benefit of vocational rehabilitation. A certified rehabilitation counselor can have an impact on your job and earnings for the remainder of your working life. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we are an AV rated firm with 60 years of experience counseling and fighting for state troopers and others who have been injured on the job.Certified Rehabilitation Counselor
It may have been difficult for you to become a state trooper. To get into this line of work, you needed to meet requirements related to your age, citizenship, lack of criminal record, driver’s license, and also complete a written recruitment exam and formal panel interview. We understand you may find it devastating to lose your career trajectory because of a work-related accident in or around Chicago. When you are seriously injured and cannot continue to work as a state trooper, you face practical considerations, such as finding a different job. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act section 8(a), you are entitled to vocational rehabilitation when it is “necessary.”
The law specifies that in addition to medical care, your employer — as a state trooper, the state — must also pay for instruction, treatment and training needed for the mental, physical, and vocational rehabilitation required including incidental maintenance costs and expenses. Making assessments about these aspects of your work can require the services of a certified rehabilitation counselor. Our lawyers can make sure proper steps are taken by your employer and the counselor so that you can get back on your feet.Disputes About Whether You Should Be Provided a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor
Illinois law doesn’t expressly specify when you must be given vocational rehabilitation. The process of obtaining the services of a certified rehabilitation counselor is not that clearly delineated. Accordingly, it can be difficult to know when you are entitled to a certified rehabilitation counselor as a state trooper who has been injured on the job. You could be entitled to a counselor, for instance, if you crashed while involved in a high-speed chase and suffered catastrophic injuries such as paralysis. If you seriously dislocated your shoulder while struggling with a suspect such that you can no longer meet the physical demands of the job, you may also need to reconsider your line of work.Maximum Medical Improvement
In Illinois, your licensed doctor must determine you arrived at maximum medical improvement (MMI) to recommend you for vocational rehabilitation with a certified rehabilitation counselor. Once you are at MMI, the next step is to determine whether you have permanent work restrictions as determined by an evaluation of your functional capacity and in line with what your treating doctor thinks. When an employer is able to accommodate your work restrictions without you losing earnings, the analysis stops.
Factors that support a vocational rehabilitation program include your loss of income, loss of job security, and the likelihood you would get a job after completing vocational rehabilitation. You may not be a suitable candidate if you went through past vocational rehabilitation that was unsuccessful, you aren’t trainable because of your age, education, or job, or you already have the skills and schooling needed to get a different job.
Your certified rehabilitation counselor must have all proper information to make determinations about what steps should be taken to get you back into the workforce. However, not all counselors are prepared to testify. We can make sure yours receives what is needed to ensure a solid evaluation is performed.Hire a Law Firm That Represents State Troopers Disabled on the Job
Our Chicago attorneys handle state troopers’ workers’ compensation claims in Champaign, Rockford, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as Sangamon, Winnebago, Kane, Cook, and Adams Counties. We handle Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims and third party lawsuits on behalf of law enforcement officers, as well. Call us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or complete our online form.