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

Peter Rousmaniere

Thanks for your letter. I am keeping track of your thoughtful papers.
One issue I hope you can raise is the need for information about the duration of disability from the date of start of disability. This is not an easy thing to do. In workers’ comp it should not be difficult, as long as one is careful in collecting and interpreting the data. Workers’ comp claims payers record the date of injury and have data on duration of disability payments, and some count the days of disability.  After about a year post injury the data gets complicated.  But it is important to construct the data, due to the importance of early intervention. I have not seen detailed duration of disability data from Washington (per COHE). I have urged the WCRI [Workers' Compensation Research Institute] to focus more attention on this issue (see attached).
Peter Rousmaniere
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Montpelier VT 05602
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Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. - Voltaire 

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