Vocational rehabilitation in brain injury cases: Helping you feel your best

Categories: Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is damage to the brain tissue, usually occurring in a closed head injury. The brain collides with the skull’s interior at a high velocity, causing the tissue and blood vessels to tear. Tearing can cause damage, as can the associated swelling and bleeding.

Damage to specific brain areas, like the temporal or frontal lobes, usually affects the victim’s ability to concentrate, form short-term memories, and execute higher reasoning and logic.

Many individuals may find help through vocational rehabilitation. Brain injury victims may benefit from several different types of assistance, but in many cases, this can get expensive. If you need help pursuing compensation so you can afford vocational rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury, we can help.

Contact the San Luis Obispo brain injury lawyers with Ernst Law Group by calling (805) 541-0300 today to learn more in a free consultation.

What is vocational rehabilitation?

Vocational rehabilitation following brain injury aims to help the victim return to work. Some people may be able to continue in their jobs or line of work before the accident, while others may need to learn new skills.

Each person’s program is determined by the location and extent of their injury, their current abilities, and a prognosis for what they could achieve. Therefore, although there are several types of vocational rehabilitation services, traumatic brain injury victims may not participate in all of them.

Employment services to help brain injury victims find a job

The type of job training services you receive depends on what you qualify for and your specific needs. Often, these services are overseen by a case counselor or may be administered through the California Department of Rehabilitation.

Some of the available services for helping a brain injury victim find a job, retain their current job, or advance on a different career path include:

  • Assistance finding careers that meet your interests and abilities
  • Behavioral, speech, occupational, or physical therapy to help improve your abilities
  • Psychological testing and a mental health assessment
  • Help to purchase durable medical devices, like a wheelchair or hearing aid, that can help you perform specific job duties.
  • Evaluation of specific jobs and recommendations for your employer as to the type of assistive technology you may need to complete the job duties
  • Help enrolling and completing a certification or degree program
  • On-the-job coaching and support to help you adjust and perform at your best

Your vocational counselor may work with you and your employer to develop the necessary modifications for your job. They can also develop a consistent method of feedback to help you learn and develop. Your vocational counselor helps your employer understand the limits of your abilities.

Services for job matching and placement

You could qualify for help finding a job that suits your changed abilities. Your vocational rehabilitation counselor can help you identify jobs you should be able to do and then work with you to develop a CV and cover letter or other application materials.

Other job placement services you could receive include:

  • Transportation to and from the interviews and your job, including securing a public transportation pass
  • Modification to your vehicle so you can drive
  • Referrals and recommendations to supplement your application
  • Connection with employers with an active policy of hiring persons with disabilities

Am I eligible for vocational rehabilitation after a brain injury?

Not all brain injury victims are eligible for vocational rehabilitation. Depending on how severe the injury is and what part of the brain is affected, the individual may never be able to engage in gainful employment again. In these cases, they may need lifelong assistance.

However, many people have a reasonably favorable prognosis following a brain injury. You may qualify for vocational rehabilitation services if:

  • You have a diagnosed disability. A TBI typically qualifies someone as being disabled.
  • You want to work. Vocational rehabilitation services, especially those that require skills re-training, are typically only successful if the individual is motivated.
  • You’re having trouble with your current job or having difficulty keeping a job because of your brain injury.

Finding success after a brain injury.

Finding gainful employment can feel overwhelming while you’re healing from a traumatic brain injury. A San Luis Obispo brain injury lawyer, can seek compensation to help with your vocational retraining as you find a job better suited to your abilities.

Contact Ernst Law Group today at (805) 541-0300 to learn more during a free consultation.