15 January 2013
Myth-The Employer’s Role Ends Once the Workers’ Comp Claim Is Paid!
Once an injured employee’s workers comp claim is paid, the employer’s most important role begins. The employer should maintain frequent contact with the employee to monitor their healing progress. By doing so, the employer will be able to gauge when the injured employee will be able to begin the return to work program.
According to the 2009 RIMS Benchmark Survey, 86% of companies have a return to work program. However, many small to mid-sized companies lack efficient programs that enable recovering employees to return to work in a limited, but productive role. Most smaller companies feel that setting up a return to work program will require too much effort for the few injuries that occur each year. This is simply not true.
Return to work programs reduces the number of lost work days for just about every employee involved. By doing so, it accomplishes two goals. First, it reduces the company’s future increases in workers’ comp or disability insurance since such policies pay out large claims for lost wages. Therefore, by reducing lost wages, claims will drop, which will reduce premiums.
Second, return to work programs is directly correlated to productivity benefits. On average, individuals receiving disability benefits are paid between 50% and 70% of their normal wage. By bringing employees back to work at 100% pay, the company is only paying 50%