Vocational Rehabilitation for UPS Drivers
As a UPS driver, you’re at risk of getting injured while driving or while bringing a package to a recipient’s door. You may be in a vehicle collision. Or you may suffer a spinal disc rupture because you lifted an exceptionally heavy package. You may find that you can no longer do your job as a UPS driver and need to find other work. Some people who drive for a living do not have other marketable skills that would allow them to shift occupations. If you were injured on the job while delivering packages, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation for UPS drivers. It’s important to retain an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney who can fight for your right to this benefit. We may be able to help you.Vocational Rehabilitation for UPS Drivers
When most people think of workers’ compensation, they think of getting their medical bills paid for or obtaining disability pay while they’re unable to work. However, Section 8(a) provides for another important benefit. Employees who are injured on the job are entitled to instruction, training, and treatment that they need in order to rehabilitate physically, mentally, and jobwise. Your lawyer can explain the benefits covered under workers’ compensation insurance. These include education, counseling and retraining, as well as maintenance costs and expenses.
Rule 7110.10 mandates that employers prepare a vocational rehabilitation plan. UPS should prepare such a plan if you’re not able to drive or lift packages, or if you’re unable to work for more than 120 continuous days. In some cases, it’s clear you won’t be able to drive for UPS for a long time or at all right after a serious crash. However, there are also situations in which your medical prognosis is somewhat unclear. In that case, UPS may decide to hold off on evaluating you for vocational rehabilitation. Similarly, if UPS expects you to come back to work after sustaining a shoulder injury, it may not plan for a loss of earning ability that would entitle you to vocational rehabilitation.How to Obtain Vocational Rehabilitation for UPS Drivers
In some cases, UPS and its insurer will not want to pay the benefit. Courts do not have a bright-line rule for when a worker becomes entitled to vocational rehabilitation. Rather, UPS or its insurer needs to pay for your vocational rehabilitation when you need it. You may need to go before an arbitrator with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission in order to obtain this benefit. Factors to be considered are: (1) whether you sustained a work-related injury that reduces your earning capacity, (2) whether there’s evidence your earning capacity would be increased by rehabilitation, (3) likelihood of getting employment once you obtain retraining, (4) whether you’ve previously done a program like this in the past, (5) whether you can’t be trained due to your occupation, training, education or age, (6) whether you have enough skills to get a job without additional training, (7) job security, (8) costs and benefits of the program, (9) how many more working years you have left, and (10) your capacity and motivation to do the program.
UPS may ask you to demonstrate a good faith effort to find another job and that this search didn’t yield a job you could do with your physical restrictions. For instance, if you sustained a severe disc herniation that wouldn’t respond to physical therapy and medication, and as a result you could no longer drive for a living, you might need to search for jobs that would allow you to sit or perform other tasks like reading or talking. You may apply to those jobs, and yet receive rejections because you don’t have the right credentials. In that case, you would be entitled to ask for vocational rehabilitation.Third Party Liability
If you were injured in a collision or other accident caused by someone else, you may be able to pursue damages in court. Once liability is established, you can obtain economic and noneconomic compensation for your losses.Consult a Seasoned Chicago Attorney
If you’re a UPS worker who needs vocational rehabilitation after a Chicago accident on the job, you should discuss your situation with the experienced lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. We also represent UPS drivers in Aurora, Rockford, and Champaign, and as well as Kane, Cook, Winnebago, Adams, Sangamon, and Winnebago Counties. Call us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525. Alternatively, you can complete our online form.