Being injured or made ill on the job is always a difficult situation to assess. There are common concerns such as how long the problem will last, what the medical considerations are, what can happen if the workers cannot get back to the same job, what the financial situation will be and more. Workers’ compensation benefits are in place to help Ohio workers make ends meet financially and get the medical care they need. However, it is important to understand that each worker’s circumstances are different. Not all workers fit in the same category, so it is vital to know that the workers’ compensation benefits can be tailored — within reason — to suit the individual.
One benefit workers can use is “remain at work.” With remain at work, an employee who can stay on the job as they recover. There are criteria that must be met. The injured worker can only have a medical claim meaning they missed seven or fewer days of work because of the injury. They must remain at work but have difficulty and are at risk of needing time off again. The Managed Care Organization (MCO) oversees the remain at work program.
The MCO decides on the worker’s eligibility. There are three considerations: whether the worker has a claim for medical-only or lost time without temporary total compensation or salary continuation; whether the worker is having issues at work because of his or her condition; and whether the employer, the worker and the medical professional have found out why the worker is having issues. Included in return to work are: transitional employment; job modification; equipment and tools so the worker can perform duties; a gradual return to work and more.
Remain at work lets workers stay on the job, so there is no lost-time claim. It allows workers to avoid a major disruption and can assist them in getting back to work, maintaining their job and keeping their pay and benefits. The employer benefits from this because it avoids a lost-time claim. Obviously, many workplace accidents will leave a worker unable to work and in need of extended medical care. For those who are not severely injured but have an ongoing problem and concerns that they will again need to take time off from their job, remain at work may be an alternative worth considering.