One of the best ways to manage claim costs is by making modified, transitional duties available to injured workers as soon as possible after an injury occurs. These programs make suitable modified/transitional duty available to injured workers upon release from their treating physician. The ultimate goal is restoration of the employee’s maximum capabilities as early as possible.
Before Injuries Occur
The employer should implement return-to-work programs before injuries occur. Studies show that the longer a person is off work, the less likely it is that the person will ever return to work.
A modified duty job should consist of meaningful work.
- It can be the employee’s regular job with modifications to accommodate the employee’s physical restrictions.
- It can be alternative duties based on tasks that match the employee’s capabilities.
- It can be part-time or full-time work as long as the job duties are within the employee’s medical restrictions. The modified duty job can be at lesser pay than the pre-injury job. A partial workers’ compensation benefit will be paid to offset any loss of earnings capacity resulting from working at a modified duty job for compensable claims.*
Read more about the employer’s role in developing an early return-to-work program.
* Partial benefits are payable as outlined by state statute requirements.