You used to be a skilled plumber, but since your lumbar spine injury and subsequent medical treatment, it is impossible to resume your former employment. The main issue is the constant kneeling and squatting in tight spaces and awkward positions that the job of a plumber requires. Attempting to continue to work in your former position will undoubtedly re-aggravate your injury and worsen your lumbar spine injury.
Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, you may be entitled to rehabilitation benefits. The goals behind rehabilitation benefits are set out in Minnesota Statute §176.102. The purpose of rehabilitation is to return the employee to “suitable, gainful employment” or to a position that is economically similar to his prior, pre-disability position and within his physical restrictions. This analysis takes into account not only one’s immediate income, “but also opportunity for future income.”
In Minnesota, rehabilitation benefits are available to help you return to suitable gainful employment. According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, you’re eligible to receive these benefits if you are unable to do your usual and customary job because of your injury, your employer is unable to provide other suitable employment, and rehabilitation services will benefit you.