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What is a qualified injured worker?

You probably know that you are entitled to workers’ compensation after you are injured on the job. It pays you while you are recuperating and pays for your medical bills. However, what many Folsom, California, residents may not think about is what happens if you cannot go back to work?

If your office modifies your position or makes it a light-duty position, and you still cannot return to work, you may become a qualified injured worker. Alternatively, if you need some kind of position modification or light-duty position, but that is not offered by your employer, then you might also qualify as a qualified injured worker. In other words, your injury is permanent to the extent that you cannot return to your former position.

What does QIW mean?

Essentially, it means that you qualify for vocational rehabilitation services, job placement assistance or job training to take a new position. In other words, you qualify for this training to allow you to take a different position than the one you had when you were injured on the job.

Workers’ compensation timeline

California Labor Code Section 5400 requires that injured workers report their on-the-job injuries within 30 days of the injury. If that worker can no longer perform their normal duties as a result of the injury, they would likely qualify for temporary disability benefits.

However, if the employee cannot or does not recover from the on-the-job injury, the worker may qualify for permanent disability benefits. A permanent disability is generally one that permanently affects one’s ability to earn a living.

A workers’ compensation attorney can be immensely helpful, especially if you think you may be permanently injured. Attorneys help clients file claims and represent them in negotiations with employers. They help with workplace modifications or different work assignments, and may help injured clients get vocational rehabilitation services as well.