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OhioBWC - Basics:  Return to work programs

Return to work (RTW)

An employer's first response to a workplace injury should be getting the injured worker the medical care he or she needs. Then, the goal becomes returning the injured worker to the workplace. Return to work (and job retention after a return to work) is the goal of every rehab plan.

The following are three different fact scenarios for return to work.

  • Actual RTW - The date the injured worker has returned to employment.
    Vocational rehab considerations - The injured worker has returned to the workplace but may be participating in a vocational rehab plan. The injured worker may be entitled to living maintenance compensation. These types of plans may include:
    • Employer incentive;
    • On-the-job training;
    • Transitional work;
    • Gradual return-to-work services;
    • Work trial.
  • Released to RTW - The date the physician of record medically releases the injured worker to return to employment (restricted or unrestricted), but has not actually returned to work.
    Vocational rehab considerations - The injured worker may have been released to participate in a vocational rehab plan. These types of plans may include:
    • Job search/Job seeking skills training;
    • Retraining.
    Other considerations - If the injured worker has not reached maximum medical improvement and is released to return to work with restrictions and work is not available within the restrictions, he/she may still be entitled to compensation.
  • Estimated RTW - The anticipated date the injured worker may be able to return to employment.



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