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Expanding BWC program gets injured Ohio workers back on the job faster

The state fund for injured workers is expanding a program meant to reduce workers’ compensation costs for employers while helping injured workers return to their jobs faster.

Before July 1, only employers that have had at least one lost-time claim — a claim in which an injured worker is off more than seven days — were eligible for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s (BWC’s) Transitional Work Program.

Now, it’s open to any employer in good standing with the bureau. The program awards grants to employers that set up programs to modify injured workers’ job duties for a specified time to gradually return them to their original jobs.

A Transitional Work Program is a customized program that includes policies and procedures to assist employers in safely bringing injured employees with restrictions back to work by performing identified jobs, tasks or functions as they transition back to their original positions.

“The goal is get injured workers, while still recovering from their injury, doing what they are able to,” said Tina Elliott, who manages the program for the bureau. “It has benefits to everyone, particularly the employer saving money on premiums.”

Under the program, employers work with a certified transitional work developer to formulate a transitional work policy for injured workers that meets the bureau’s qualifications. The idea is to have the plan ready if someone is injured.

Employers can benefit in two ways:

  • Once approved, the bureau will pay 75 percent of the costs of the plan.
  • And, when a worker suffers an injury and the plan is implemented, employers may be eligible for bonuses.

Employers interested in the Transitional Work Grant should contact their individually assigned CareWorks Account Executive for assistance. They will guide the employer through the program and assist with the selection of a qualified transitional work developer. Please call us at 1-888-627-7586 and ask to be transferred to your assigned Account Executive, or email us at cwcomm@careworks.com.

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