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OhioBWC - Basics:  Return-to-Work Programs

Return-to-Work Programs

On Jan. 1, 2001, BWC launched three return-to-work initiatives, which were remain at work, 30-day return-to-work assessments, and transitional work.

The goal of remain at work is to provide early intervention and minimize the number of days any employee misses work due to an injury. The premise is simple: the best way to avoid needing to return to work is to remain at work. Prior to this program’s implementation, only injured workers who had missed more than seven days of work were eligible for rehabilitation services.

With 30-day return-to-work assessments, the injured worker’s managed care organization (MCO) manages each claim with the goal of an optimal return-to-work date. If an injured worker has not returned to work 30 days after the established optimal return-to-work date, BWC becomes directly involved in reviewing this case. BWC and MCO staff work together to identify opportunities for expediting the process so the injured worker can take advantage of return-to-work interventions.

Transitional work helps businesses offer injured employees strategies to return them to work as soon as safely possible, and before the worker is 100 percent recovered. The program uses real job-related tasks to accommodate the workers' medical restrictions for a specified time period – generally no more than three months – and gradually return them to their original duties.