It is a fact that millions of people in the US experience onset of permanent or long-lasting conditions that hamper their ability to work. These conditions can be due to workplace factors or due to other reasons. No matter the cause, but these conditions often hamper an employee’s ability to work in the long run. To help such employees, the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability and Employment Policy has come up with the return to work programs that help a person to return to work.

If done right, the return to work programs like the Return-to-Work Supplement Program (RTWSP) can help employees in the following manner.

  • Maintain Standard of Living

When a person loses a job, they also lose their income and have to lower their standard of living. But, with an effective return to work program in place, it won’t happen as it will allow a person to take up a job again and maintain the same standard of living for themselves or their families.

  • Boosts Morale

Another benefit of an effective return to work program for employees is a boost in morale. When a person knows that they can return to work and have a decent life, it boosts their morale and helps reduce the psychological effects of the incident that led to the disability.

  • Better Medical Journey

One crucial benefit of a successful return to work program is the reduction of medical costs as the employer, or the government pays for it. The employee also recovers faster if the medical bills are cleared constantly, and there are no financial worries on the employee’s mind.

  • Helps Avoid Litigation

When there is a return to work program like Return-to-Work Supplement Program (RTWSP) is in place, it can also help the employee and the employer to avoid litigation and the fees and time required to pursue the matter in court. Everyone knows that court cases can drag for months or even years. So, avoiding them benefits everyone involved.

  • Enhanced Learning

With an effective return to work program in place, an employee can also learn new skills or enhance their learning. It helps boost an employee’s confidence and makes them more eager to return to work.

  • Lasting Connections

When a return to work program is in place, the employee can also stay connected with their colleagues and employer. It helps on the road to recovery to know that there are people who support the employee.

Why Don’t Return to Work Programs Profit Employees?

Often, return to work programs like the Return-to-Work Supplement Program (RTWSP) don’t profit employees. It can be due to several reasons. Many employees who lost their job due to a disability or are on the verge of losing one have highlighted several problems with the return to work programs that reduce its efficiency and makes things tougher for the employees. Here are some of them.

  • Long and Complicated Process

Some employees have reported that the process of applying for the benefits and receiving them is long and complicated. It has several complicated steps that take a lot of time to complete.

  • Too Many Formalities

Several employees have also reported that the return to work process often has too many formalities. The employees need to fetch all sorts of documentation and other paperwork that tiers them. Many of these formalities can be avoided if positive changes are made.

  • Not Enough Awareness Efforts

Lack of awareness is another big reason that contributes to the lack of effectiveness pf return to work programs. Many employees are not aware of the program and how it can help them. So, they don’t apply for assistance promptly and have to face rejection later on.

  • High Rate of Rejection

The rate of rejection is also a cause of concern. Many return to work programs reject the claims made by an injured employee. Then the employee has no option but to forget returning to home and might have to live off social security and other benefits. Essentially, the rejection leads to the elimination of an employee from the workforce.

How to Make a Return to Work Program More Effective and Beneficial for Employees

Several simple things can be done to make a return to work program like a Return-to-Work Supplement Program in California more effective and employee-friendly. Here are a few of them.

  • Increase Awareness

First and foremost, all employees should know of the return to work program and how it will benefit them. Even the people who have just joined a workforce should have a knowledge of it. Doing so will ensure that people seek the assistance of such a program as soon as possible and don’t miss the deadlines associated with such programs.

  • Offer Help Quickly

Another important change that might be required is to offer assistance quickly. The people responsible for implementing such a program should reach out to the injured/disabled employee and offer assistance quickly. It will ensure that the employee gets on the road to recovery with peace of mind that he/she is still employable or has a job. It will help a lot with the recovery process.

  • Employers Should be More Active

It would also be best if the employer remains more active through the process and makes an employee aware of such programs. The employer should also provide this information for free, and it should also be obligation-free.

  • Alternate Work Should be Suitable

The main aim of a return to work program should not be to get the employee any job, but a suitable job. The work conditions should be modified as per the new capabilities of the employee, and the work hours, commute and responsibilities should be adjusted or made flexible. The employee should have a say in whether he/she wants to take up the alternate job or not. Nothing should be forced.

Final Words

All in all, it can be said that return to work programs can benefit employees in many ways if they are created and implemented correctly. They should be modified with time and made more flexible and easier to access by everyone. The better the return to work program like Return-to-Work Supplement Program in California is, the higher would be the number of people benefitting from it.

Want to Know More?

If you need more information on Return-to-Work Supplement Program (RTWSP) like Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit (SJDB) Voucher Services or Return-to-Work Supplement Program California or want to get a Return to Work Voucher in CA, connect with the team of Laura M Wilson & Associates Inc. We help people return to work with respect and offer counselling and guidance till they get a suitable job. Call us toll-free on (800) 531-5608 for an appointment.

References

https://amtrustfinancial.com/blog/loss-control/benefits-of-a-return-to-work-program

https://www.worksafesask.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/1-Benefits-of-RTW-1.5.pdf

https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/odep/topics/pdf/rtw_costs-benefits_2015-03.pdf