What is a Not-for-Profit (NFP) Return To Work (RTW) Program?
An NFP Return To Work program is designed to provide an immediate modified duty opportunity for injured workers when they have temporary restrictions and are unable to perform their regular job duties. The alternate positions are located in charitable or volunteer organizations of many types.
It is an alternative solution for the employer if they do not have a program in place or if they are unable to accommodate and supervise in-house modified duty job tasks within the injured workers’ temporary restrictions.
Overall this program can help employers lower their workers’ comp costs – the ultimate goal.
When should a Not-for-Profit RTW Program be utilized?
- Whenan employee is injured on the job and receives temporary restrictions from a physician limiting his/her ability to perform his/her regular job duties. The temporary restrictions for NFP consideration are usually limited to 120 days.
- Whenthe employer is unable to provide and supervise in-house modified duty job tasks within the injured worker’s temporary restrictions.
- Whenthe employer has an outside workforce and the injured worker does not live in close proximity to any of the employer sites. WCxKit (i.e., transportation, sales, healthcare, construction, etc.).
Why consider using a NFP facility for a RTW program?
- To reduceor eliminate weekly indemnity payments (TTD, TD, TPD, Weekly Comp Check) and keep the injured worker on regular payroll.
- To reducethe number of lost time days.
- To positivelyinfluence the Mod Factor.
- To promoteregular communication between the employee and the employer during the recovery period.
- To establishcommunity involvement for the employer and injured worker.
- To supportthe injured worker with a minimal lifestyle disruption by being active in the community.
How does the process work?
The process starts by identifying temporary restriction cases where the injured worker is projected to return to work within the next 120 days. The employer can implement this program immediately. The WC Administrator, TPA, Insurance Company, Claim Handler, Claim Manager, Medical Case Manager, Broker, Risk Consultant or others involved with handling such claims can also recognize specific cases and recommend the program to the employer.
A NFP facility is located within reasonable distance to the injured workers’ residences where they can volunteer while working on behalf of the employer. Although there may be numerous NFP facilities surrounding the injured workers’ locations you must often be creative in finding those that can accommodate the injured workers’ restrictions.
When a volunteer position is secured:
- Job tasksare developed and days/hours are coordinated with the NFP supervisor.
- The employeeis taken off weekly Indemnity, (TTD, TD, TPD, Weekly Comp Check) and resumes regular payroll processing through the employer.
- The NFP supervisorvalidates the days and hours worked including the time away for work related medical care and reports this weekly to the employer for payroll processing.
- The injuredworker’s volunteer position at the NFP would end if the restrictions change, if the employer is able to accommodate the employee in-house, or when the injured worker receives a full duty release from the physician.
To maximize the benefits of using a NFP, a position should be secured at the earliest possible date, even if the employee is expected to be there for only a short period. Timing is Essential!
Any employer can effectively integrate utilizing a NFP in their RTW program and it is generally accepted by most unions based on the contract.
Author – We welcome contributing author Dan Varner, President of Varner Claims Consulting, LLC. Varner specializes in return-to-work programs and cost saving solutions. He has over 30 years of experience in the insurance claims Industry and can be reached at 312-450-3259 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.varnerclaimsconsulting.com for further information.
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