After a work-related injury, you may feel uncertain about returning to your job. These feelings may stem from concerns about having necessary accommodations and the flexibility you need to continue your recovery.
When your employer has a return to work or RTW program in place, they can facilitate your transition back into the workplace. Their support may ease your concerns and help you find the motivation to work again.
Depending on the outcome of your injury, you may require weeks or even months of rehabilitative treatment. This portion of your recovery can cost a lot of money, particularly if you do not have insurance to help cover the costs. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, when your employer has an RTW plan, they may authorize specific treatments and extend your workers’ compensation benefits to offset some of those costs.
Similarly, an RTW program allows you to return to work faster than you otherwise could. This means you can begin collecting a paycheck again which can minimize the financial strain that comes from not working for months on end.
Another aspect of an RTW program is a modified list of job responsibilities and expectations. Your injury may prevent you from completing all of your former tasks as you continue to recover. Your employer can articulate modified responsibilities, as well as job-specific expectations for you in a formal legal document. While temporary, your employer should provide you with a written copy of this modified agreement.
If your injury created a permanent disability, an RTW program may still benefit you. Your employer may have the resources to guide you to alternative sources of employment. Despite the modifications you may need, returning to work via the help of an RTW program allows you to retain critical skills, maintain professional relationships and have job security.