Vocational Rehabilitation for Injured Lyft Drivers
If you drive for Lyft and have become disabled for a prolonged period of time due to a work injury, you may be concerned about your options. You may have signed an agreement with Lyft specifying that you are not an employee, and therefore you may be worried that you’re not entitled to the types of benefits employees get, including workers’ compensation benefits such as vocational rehabilitation. However, Lyft doesn’t have the last word on whether you’re an employee entitled to these benefits or not. You can consult an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney about your ability to pursue vocational rehabilitation as an injured Lyft driver. We can conduct a thorough review of your case to help you identify all of the pertinent facts, and help you determine whether you may be successful in seeking benefits.Vocational Rehabilitation for Injured Lyft Drivers
Illinois courts have adopted the ABC test to determine whether a worker has been misclassified as an independent contractor. Factors to be considered under this test include: whether Lyft controls or directs you in performing services such as driving, whether the service you provide falls within the usual course of business for Lyft, and whether you are also engaged in another independently established trade or business. As an injured Lyft driver, you could potentially be considered an employee under the ABC test, though it is not clear how a court would decide this issue.
If you are found to be an employee injured on the job, you should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits such as vocational rehabilitation, which helps you become trained to do a different job. This type of benefit may be appropriate if you’re not able to return to your former job due to certain disabilities arising out of your work-related injuries, but you’re still able to work. For example, if your job involves driving, the vocational rehabilitation benefit can be crucial if you can no longer drive for long periods due to a ruptured disc you suffered in a car accident. As another example, this benefit could be crucial if you can no longer drive because you got in a work-related auto collision that resulted in your right leg being amputated. You may also need to go through vocational rehabilitation if you suffered work injuries that reduced your earning power, and evidence shows that this type of rehabilitation would increase your earning capacity. A qualified workers’ compensation lawyer can review your case to help you determine whether it may be appropriate for you to seek vocational rehabilitation.Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
Usually, vocational rehabilitation begins with an evaluation of what your expectations are for a job, as well as what your medical and job requirements are. This usually involves securing a medical opinion by a treating physician or health care provider that clarifies that you have permanent work restrictions.
Vocational rehabilitation includes various services, including help for workers looking at different types of jobs, figuring out whether there are job modifications that could work for you, job counseling, and job placement. Through vocational rehabilitation, you can request further training or schooling to qualify you for a job that you can do in light of your new medical restrictions. Your vocational rehabilitation benefits can also include coverage for room and board, living expenses, and travel costs.
As part of the process for pursuing vocational rehabilitation benefits, you are expected to try to get a job, and to be able to show that you couldn’t get a job with your physical restrictions. If you don’t comply with the program rules, your weekly benefits could be terminated or reduced.Consult an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Chicago
If you have questions about seeking vocational rehabilitation as an injured Lyft driver in Chicago, you can call Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck and Bertuca. Our seasoned workers’ compensation lawyers can represent injured drivers in Rockford, Champaign, Quincy, and Aurora, as well as across Sangamon, Kane, Winnebago, Cook, and Adams Counties. We also evaluate our clients’ disability cases to figure out whether other relief may be available in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or via our online form to set up an appointment and discuss your options.