Vocational Rehabilitation for Injured Uber Drivers
As an Uber driver, you depend on your ability to drive in order to earn a living. What happens if you get into a car accident while on the job or suffer a repetitive stress injury? You may have signed an agreement with Uber that says you are an independent contractor, so you may assume that you aren’t entitled to workers’ compensation. However, this may not be true. Whether or not you are an employee for purposes of workers’ compensation benefits is a legal question, and it is unclear how a court would decide it. However, workers’ compensation benefits that are available to employees can include vocational rehabilitation, which could be used to obtain retraining or education to get a new job. If you have questions about vocational rehabilitation as an injured Uber driver, you can consult the compassionate Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck and Bertuca.Vocational Rehabilitation for Injured Uber Drivers
In Illinois, the ABC test is what courts use to figure out whether a worker has been improperly characterized as an independent contractor when she is actually an employee. There are different factors that need to be considered as part of this analysis, including whether you have another job or business alongside your Uber job, whether the driving you do for Uber is part of the company’s primary business, and the extent to which Uber controls the way you perform services. If you are found to be an employee under the ABC test, you will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Section 8(a) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides that your employer may need to pay for vocational rehabilitation, among other benefits, if you are hurt on the job. This benefit is intended to help those who are not able to go back to their old job due to a work-related disability. People in this situation may need help figuring out what jobs might be open to them, or help getting educated or retrained in order to be able to get the jobs for which they would qualify with further education or training.
To start the process of claiming this benefit, you will need to have a medical opinion from a treating doctor or health care provider that specifies that you are permanently restricted in your ability to work. The evidence you present should show that going through vocational rehabilitation would improve your ability to earn money. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer can assess the details of your case, and help you determine whether vocational rehabilitation is a benefit you should try to pursue.What Happens in Vocational Rehabilitation?
The first step in the vocational rehabilitation process will usually be to determine your job expectations and medical needs when working. After that, a plan should be put together. In the program, as referenced above, you may find that you need more education or training. You’ll need to follow the program rules and try to get a job, and if you don’t, your weekly benefits can be reduced or terminated in response.
You may be able to get a range of services in vocational rehabilitation depending on what your disability is. In addition to education and job retraining services, benefits can include job maintenance costs. These can include travel costs, room and board, and living expenses in connection with your vocational rehabilitation.Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Serving Chicago
Vocational rehabilitation can be a very important benefit for those who drive for a living and can no longer do so because of a serious injury. If you have questions or concerns about vocational rehabilitation for injured Uber drivers in Chicago, you can call us for guidance. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck and Bertuca, our seasoned workers’ compensation lawyers can represent injured workers in Quincy, Aurora, Champaign, and Rockford, along with Kane, Adams, Sangamon, Winnebago, and Cook Counties. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or via our online form.