I can’t go back to my old job because of my injuries, what happens now?

If you are not capable of returning to your former occupation, workers compensation law requires the employer to provide “vocational rehabilitation” services to you. The vocational rehabilitation process is designed to assist you in finding work in a different career which would maximize your earnings. Often times, the employer will assign a vocational rehabilitation counselor to assist you with these efforts. The vocational rehabilitation counselor is licensed by the state of Illinois. The counselor helps with locating job opportunities, resume writing, interview skill development, and other job seeking skills. But the main responsibility for finding work is not the vocational rehabilitation counselor’s — it is yours. You will be required to search for jobs on your own and to keep a written record of every job contact you make on what are known as “job search logs”. The counselor will require you to meet with him/her on a regular basis (maybe once a month) when you will have to turn in a mandatory number of job searches at each meeting. You will have to aggressively pursue every opportunity for work. You will be entitled to “maintenance” payments while you go through the vocational rehabilitation process. Such “maintenance” is a continuation of your temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, under a different name.

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