It’s no surprise that a workplace injury or occupational disease, like one that is life-threatening, can have a significant emotional impact on a worker. For example, losing an arm or a leg in an industrial accident, or getting terminal lung cancer from toxic exposure in the workplace can dramatically impact a person’s quality of life and well-being.
In an effort to help disabled workers better deal with their circumstances, the New York Workers’ Compensation Board provides social workers to help workers cope with their situations. When a worker becomes disabled because of an occupational disease or due to an industrial accident, the effects can be devastating for the worker and his or her family members, which is why the Board has services to help.
Common stressors in these cases include:
- The worker’s income is reduced.
- The worker cannot do the things they used to do.
- The worker can’t take care of their children like they did before.
- The worker feels helpless.
- The worker’s permanent disability has changed their professional, financial, and personal roles, and it hurts.
- The worker feels that the stress of their injury is overwhelming.
When a disabled worker experiences these above challenges, they have access to professional social workers provided by the Workers’ Compensation Board. The workers can discuss their difficulties with their social workers and explore their various solutions.
In addition to social workers, the Board offers rehabilitation and return to work programs that further assist disabled workers. In most cases, rehabilitation is voluntary, but in certain situations it is mandatory under WCL §15.3(v).
If you receive workers’ compensation benefits and feel that the social services and rehabilitation may help you, they are two services that are worth exploring.