Early Intervention Can Cut Disability Costs – Smart Business Is Also Good Business
Monday, December 12th, 2011
Sun Financial Life and Integrated Benefits Institute (a purported non-profit benefits research organization) have “discovered” that employers who take a pro-active approach and get involved with their employees soon after they are initially disabled can be effective in helping them return to work faster and happier – and, no surprise, this approach cuts disability-related costs.
IBI did a study of Steelcase, a Michigan office furniture manufacturer. After the company introduced a disability management program which integrated worker’s compensation, short and long-term disability and the federal Family Medical Leave Act, worker satisfaction allegedly rose by 48 percent.
Steelcase implemented the program because employees were confused by disjointed employee benefits. They took the proverbial bull by the horns and made significant changes. The IBI study looked at nearly 1,000 non-maternity short term claims. Those in the study who received services like coaching about back-to-work expectations, information on light-duty positions, job site modifications, medical intervention to ensure appropriate care, and communication between the employee, employer and physician did far better in returning to work.
Apparently, kindness in the workplace pays big dividends. Especially when it saves the employer big money.
If your employer isn’t Steelcase and doesn’t understand the value of this sort of program, and no one is responding to your requests for help with the disability insurance company’s delay or denial of claims, call our office to learn how we can help.