Supporting Employment for Newly Ill and Injured Workers -- New Urban Brief

Jack Smalligan



We’ve published a brief that has a lot of relevance for the RETAIN effort, especially the second blog described below.  It is the third brief in Urban’s New Direction for Disability Policy series.  In this paper we examine the evidence base for early intervention services for workers at risk of dropping out of the labor force due to a new illness or injury.  The paper provides an overview of how these services are now delivered in the US and promising models that could be used to expand early intervention services for at-risk workers. Our first blog below provides a link to the brief and a high-level overview of the topic.


The second link below is a blog that will be familiar to you and is designed to inform a wider policy community about RETAIN.   It is highlighting how states are already starting to develop new models for expanding and delivering early intervention services to workers who do not have access to employer-based services.


·         Most employers don’t help workers stay employed after illness or injury.  Early Intervention can help. This blog emphasizes the equity gaps created by the largely voluntary employer-based delivery of early intervention services in the US.  Some workers, typically in higher-wage jobs, already have access these services. By contrast, lower-wage workers have fewer supports when they experience a new illness or injury.

·         States are testing innovative strategies to help at-risk workers stay employed.  This blog provides an update on the Retaining Employment and Talent after Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN) demonstration grants that DoL awarded last September and the ideas put forward by the eight states that were each awarded about $2.5 million in planning grants.


Jack Smalligan

Senior Policy Fellow


U R B A N   I N S T I T U T E

Income and Benefits Policy Center


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