Recovery & return to work
Return to work (RTW)
RTW is an important aspect of recovery and claims management. Studies have shown that the longer injured workers are away from work, the less likely it is that they will ever return to productive employment. Workers who return to work as soon as possible usually recover faster.
Why is early RTW important?
By getting a worker back to work as soon as medically safe, the physical and emotional impact for that worker, the worker’s family and other employees is reduced.
Injured workers can choose to receive medical treatment from any health care professional who is licensed to practice in Saskatchewan.
We offer decentralized, timely and coordinated health care for injured workers, using a network of assessment teams and treatment centres around the province. Research shows that early assessment and treatment bring better recovery results, particularly in the treatment of the most common soft-tissue injuries.
A cooperatively developed return-to-work plan assists the worker’s recovery by making returning to the workplace a part of the rehabilitation process. Our return-to-work program takes a partnership approach in the development of a return-to-work plan for the injured worker, which is most effective when it involves the injured worker, the employer, caregivers and us.
Members of the treatment team and representatives of the WCB work with the employer to assist the injured worker back to full duties, if possible. If a gradual return to full duties is required, we support that as part of the rehabilitation process.
All medical and hospital costs associated with the injury are paid directly by us. This includes artificial limbs, braces and orthopedic and prosthetic aids. If the injured worker incurs out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions and other medical supplies prescribed by his or her health care professional, we will pay when the original receipts are submitted with the worker’s claim number.
We pay appropriate travel and living expenses if out-of-pocket expenses are incurred to receive treatment out-of-province. The worker should get approval from their Case Manager before leaving the province, to ensure compensation benefits are continued. Out-of-province treatment is paid for at Saskatchewan rates, except in special circumstances.
If a worker cannot return to the previous job because of work restrictions caused by the injury, we may pay for alterations to the worker’s home, vehicle or workplace to reduce or offset those restrictions and enable a return to work. Career counselling, job search and job training may also be provided.
In cases of severe injury, we may provide personal care or home modifications for the injured worker. When a worker is killed on the job, counselling and retraining may be offered to the dependent spouse.
There are numerous websites to help you develop your return-to-work process. Visit worksafesask.ca or contact the WCB’s prevention department at (306) 787-6916 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.