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Good Afternoon
4:18:10 PM CDT
Friday, October 24, 2014

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Return To Work

Topics Vocational Rehabilitation Forms & Publications Physical Demands-Strength Rating
Return to Work Services Preferred Worker Program WSI SAW/RTW Initiatives Actions and Motions
Transitional Work Job Development Vocational Rehabilitation Brochure The Role of Medical Case Manager
On-Site Return to Work School Coordinator Preferred Worker Program Brochure  
Medical Case Managers When Work Related Disability is Medical Required MCM Referral Criteria  

Preferred Worker Program
While some injured workers will never be able to return to their former occupation, the Preferred Worker Program is designed to encourage the re-employment of North Dakota’s injured workers by offering cost-saving incentives to employers participating in the program. Benefits include:

  • Premium exemption on the preferred worker for up to three years
  • Wage reimbursement for a portion of the preferred worker’s wage
    • Reimbursement will be up to 50 percent of wages for the first six months (not to exceed 50 percent of the state’s current average weekly wage)
  • Claim costs exemption if the preferred worker sustains an on-the-job injury during the premium exemption period
  • Reimbursement for worksite modification
  • On site job analysis
  • Hiring an experienced worker

To be eligible for the program, employers must have and maintain an account providing workers’ compensation coverage and be in good standing. The employer of injury is not eligible for the program with their own injured employee.

For an injured worker to be eligible for the program they must have sustained a compensable work injury in North Dakota, resulting in an obstacle in their ability to return to work. The injured worker cannot have been released to return to “regular” work and they cannot have refused an offer of appropriate employment with the employer of injury.

Benefits for the injured worker include:

  • Preferred worker can easily match their work abilities to the list of employment opportunities
  • Aides preferred workers with finding employment, taking into consideration their work abilities

At the time the injured worker is approved for the program, they will receive an Identification Card. This will be the first of two cards issued to the preferred worker. The worker should carry the ID card with them as they look for work. At the time they are hired under the Preferred Worker Program, the ID card will be completed by the employer and returned to WSI. Once approved and the agreement has been signed by the employer and the preferred worker, the benefits are activated. Once the Preferred Worker Agreement is in effect, WSI will issue the preferred worker a second card, which is an Eligibility Card. If the worker changes jobs or obtains an additional job, the preferred worker may present this card to inform the employer of the remaining premium exemption period.

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