When you get hurt performing your job, it's a big deal. Since you were doing something you would normally do, the injury might make it impossible to perform your work duties. You may find that you can't return to your job even after emergency care and recovery.
One of the things that workers' compensation may provide to you is called vocational rehabilitation. This is a workers' compensation benefit that provides additional compensation for schooling, training or other preparation for a new job or new position.
When can you seek out vocational rehabilitation?
In most cases, you won't be able to seek vocational rehab until you have reached maximum medical improvement, known as MMI. The reason for this is because it's necessary for the insurance company to know if you're expected to improve without rehabilitation and if you will be able to return to your old job once you do recover. Once you reach MMI, it's much easier to tell how seriously you've been hurt and if there is any chance of returning to your old job.
Sometimes, vocational rehabilitation is offered earlier, such as in the case that your injuries make it obvious that you will not be able to return to your previous role. A good example would be if you have to walk regularly for work but have had your leg amputated. You may need significant rehabilitation to walk normally with a prosthesis, and a mobile job may not be in your best interests in the immediate future.
There are many considerations when deciding if vocational rehabilitation is necessary, but you can look into it and see if it's right for you.