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What is the purpose of a return-to-work program?

If you suffered a work-related injury, your time away from the job may amplify your desire to go back. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may require help as you work your way back.

As part of your workers’ compensation benefits, your employer may have a return-to-work program. This resource can aid you in identifying and implementing the tools you need to perform your job effectively despite your new limitations.

Optimize communication

As you recover from your injury you will need to regularly inform your employer of your progress. Your health care provider can help you monitor your progress, determine the likelihood of a full recovery and develop a timeline for your return to work. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, a well-articulated return-to-work program can facilitate communication between all parties including your health care providers, your employer and your union.

With effective communication in place, you and your employer can collaborate to identify your options for resuming your work-related responsibilities. These possibilities may include telecommuting, a hybrid schedule, modified responsibilities or temporary reassignment. Periodic assessment of your situation may lead to updates in your plan so you can resume your former work responsibilities as soon as possible.

Improve rehabilitation efforts

Having no idea of the likelihood of your ability to return to work can put a damper on your recovery. A return-to-work program may give you an incentive to prioritize your recovery and rehabilitation so you can get back to your job. When your employer expresses an eagerness to have you back, you can experience the morale and support that will optimize your recovery efforts.