Vocational rehabilitation services are an important aspect of Nebraska's workers' compensation laws. The goal of vocational rehabilitation services is to assist an injured worker with a prompt return to gainful, suitable employment. If an injury leaves a worker with permanent physical restrictions which prevent a return to the job held at the time of injury, she/he may qualify for vocational rehabilitation services under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act. Importantly, in order to be considered appropriate employment, or "gainful employment" as labeled in the Act, available job opportunities must compensate the injured worker at or near the level of compensation received by the employee at the time of the work-related injury. This means that an injured worker with permanent restrictions does not have to accept post-accident employment at a reduced rate of compensation.
Kids' Chance of Nebraska is a non-profit charitable organization providing need-based educational scholarships to children of Nebraska workers who have been fatally or seriously injured in a workplace accident. To be eligible for a Kids' Chance scholarship, applicants must:
Nebraska law provides that once an employee sustains an accident, he or she is required to provide notice "as soon as practicable" to the employer of the accident occurrence and injuries. What does that mean? In short, the requirement is that the employee tell the employer about his or her injury as soon as is realistic or possible. Difficult is that there are no hard and fast rules in Nebraska regarding how and when notice must be provided. Is providing notice the day after the accident considered sufficient? Yes, likely. Is waiting a week to report the accident okay? Probably. Will telling the employer 2 or 3 or more months after the accident be considered sufficient notice? Here, it will depend on the facts and the credibility of the injured worker's justification for the delay.
Several attorneys in our office are licensed in multiple states. The issue of where to file a law suit and which state has better benefits for the injured worker comes up commonly, especially in cases where the injured worker travels for work. There are certain situations in which workers' compensation benefits will be more beneficial for an injured worker if they are able to pursue the claim in Iowa, rather than Nebraska. Employees injured while working in Iowa are entitled to Iowa workers' compensation benefits. If an employee is injured outside of Iowa, there may still be Iowa jurisdiction if (1) the employer has a place of business in Iowa and the employee regularly works at or from that place of business; (2) the employer has a place of business in Iowa and the employee lives in Iowa; (3) the employee is working under a contract of hire made in Iowa and employee regularly works in Iowa; (4) the employee is working under a contract of hire made in Iowa and sustains an injury for which no remedy is available under the workers' compensation laws of another state; (5) the employee is working under a contract of hire made in Iowa for employment outside of the United State; and/or (6) the employer has a place of business in Iowa and the employee is working under a contract of hire that provides that workers' compensation claims will be governed by Iowa law. In order to assess the best recovery available for an work injury, contact our office and discuss with one of our dually-licensed attorneys.