If someone has been injured on the job in New York or fallen ill due to an
occupational disease, and they qualify for
workers’ compensation benefits, they may be able to receive rehabilitation services. But what
is rehabilitation exactly? It has to do with a treatment or a variety
of treatments that are specifically designed to help someone recover from
an injury, illness, or a disease. The goal of rehabilitation is to restore
the person as close to a normal condition as possible.
Rehabilitation is frequently prescribed by a doctor after an illness or
an injury, or when someone has suffered from:
- An amputation
- Cancer (including cancer caused by occupational exposure)
- Neurological problems
- Spinal cord injuries
- Orthopedic injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Common forms of “rehabilitation” include physical therapy,
occupational therapy, speech therapy, and so on. Rehabilitation may involve
the help of professional inhalation therapists, audiologists, registered
dieticians, and other therapists.
Four General Types of Services in NY
According to the
New York Workers’ Compensation Board, “Rehabilitation programs offer special services designed to eliminate
a disability, if possible. They also reduce or alleviate a disability
to the greatest degree possible; help you return to work when possible;
or provide you with aid to live and work at your maximum capability.”
The Board takes rehabilitation so seriously that it has an entire staff
dedicated to it. These staff members include social workers, counselors,
claims examiners, and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists.
The four general types of services include 1) vocational rehabilitation,
2) selective placement programs, 3) medical rehabilitation, and 4) social services.
“If I participate in rehabilitation, will my benefits stop?”
No, fortunately, that is not how it works. If someone participates in
the rehabilitation services, they will not be penalized for doing what’s
necessary to facilitate the healing process. Instead, their cash benefits
will continue based on the extent of their disability. If such a person
does return to work, they may be still entitled to workers’ comp
benefits, but at a reduced rate.
Returning to Work After an Injury