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Going back to work: the role of return-to-work programs

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2013 | Firm News

Workers’ compensation benefits, in Pennsylvania or any other state, are intended to help injured workers who are able to do return to work. This post will provide an overview of return-to-work (RTW) programs in Pennsylvania.

It should first be noted, however, that returning to work after an injury isn’t always possible. Sometimes, work injuries are so severe that disability can occur. In such cases, an injured worker may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. And even if an employee is still able to work despite a disability, he or she may be entitled to protections provided by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

What, then, is a return-to-work program? It’s supposed to be a collaborative effort in which several different stakeholders. help an employee get ready to go back to work after an injury. The stakeholders include healthcare providers, vocational rehabilitation professionals, employers and, in some industries, unions.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry provides guidelines on its website about how return-to-work programs are supposed to operate. In general, the goal is for the stakeholders to each do their part to help an injured worker regain his or her pre-injury capacity through a safe yet efficient process.

The premise is that when all parties participate fully in this, it is in their interests too. It is important that employers realize this, because in a tough economy it is always tempting to cut budgets for RTW programs. Yet nationally, experience has shown that such programs can actually help employers keep costs down, as well as enabling workers to get back on the job after injuries.

Source: “” Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry”

Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our Pennsylvania workers’ compensation page.