The reality is that many injured workers are not offered permanent light duty jobs by their employers after their treating doctors give them permanent work restrictions that prevent them from going back to their usual jobs. Employers cannot be forced under Nevada workers’ compensation law to give permanent light duty jobs to injured employees. Instead, the injured worker is terminated from employment and is assigned a vocational rehabilitation counselor to try to find alternative employment or a formal retraining program. The injured worker receives bi-weekly checks from the work comp carrier during retraining, but the length of a retraining program that the insurer can authorize may not be sufficient to provide a degree or even a certificate that will ensure employment at a comparable wage.
Many injured workers will simply have to become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses if they hope to ever earn what they were making at their time of their accident. And those that do try to start a small business will have to be extremely imaginative, self-disciplined, and willing to take advantage of all possible sources of help. If you are thinking about accepting a vocational rehabilitation lump sum buy-out instead of participating in a formal retraining program, start planning early and be professional about it. Commit at least two hours a day to researching your business idea and organizing your information. I often ask clients to show me their notes and research, and most cannot show me anything in writing. Those people will not succeed. If you cannot write down your thoughts and investigate ideas in an organized manner, forget about going into business for yourself.
For those people who understand that starting a new business and then persevering the economic down times means hard work and networking, you will want to check out the NCET Entrepreneur Expo this Friday at October 14, 2011 from 10am – 4 pm at the South Point Hotel. It is free and open to the public. Nevada Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology is a non-profit group with excellent resources at www.NCET.org. Good Luck to you.