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When workers’ comp benefits end early: Exploring your options

Sustaining a workplace injury in California can present challenges, but the state’s workers’ compensation system aims to provide financial support and medical benefits during your recovery.

However, circumstances may arise where your workers’ comp benefits end before you are ready to return to work. Understanding the steps to take in such situations becomes essential to secure the necessary resources for continued recovery and ensure a successful transition back to the workforce.

Explore vocational rehabilitation services

If your workers’ comp benefits end before your complete recovery or readiness to resume work, you may qualify for vocational rehabilitation services. These services aim to assist injured workers in transitioning back to the workforce through job training, education, career counseling and job placement support. Vocational rehabilitation professionals work with you to develop a customized plan based on your skills, abilities and career goals. Utilizing these services increases the likelihood of finding suitable employment and restoring your financial independence.

Consider disability benefits

In situations where your injuries lead to a permanent disability that impedes your return to previous employment or hampers your ability to earn a similar income, you may be eligible for disability benefits. California offers various disability benefit programs, including State Disability Insurance and Social Security Disability Insurance. Each program has different qualifications and application processes, so make sure you understand what information you need before you apply.

Seek employment opportunities within restrictions

Even though you may still be healing from your injury, your employer might have some workarounds that allow you to return to work. Engage in open communication with your employer to discuss potential modified work arrangements accommodating your limitations. Maintaining active dialogue with your employer, healthcare providers and workers’ comp representatives is crucial to identify suitable job opportunities that align with your restrictions. Vocational counselors or job placement agencies can provide valuable assistance in identifying employment options fitting your capabilities and skillset.

Losing your worker’s compensation benefits before you are completely healed can be a scary time. However, when you know what steps to take, it can be much easier to handle.