Returning to Work after a Disability

Learn the different options for returning to work after a disability.

Construction crew reading blueprint

There are different options for returning to work after a disability, such as modified or transitional work.

Modified work is intended to:

  • Be time-limited
  • Increase the demands of the job over time as your strength improves
  • Return you to full capacity at the end of the transition period

With modified work, you should first discuss with your manager what aspects of your job are difficult for you to perform during your recuperation. Examples of modified work include working reduced hours or changing the number or type of tasks you perform.

Transitional work is intended to:

  • Be time-limited
  • Change the job tasks over time as your strength improves
  • Return you to your regular job in full capacity at the end of the transition period

With transitional work, you should first discuss with your manager what aspects of your job are difficult for you to perform during your recuperation. Examples of transitional work include combining various job tasks to make up part-time or full-time work. Transitional job tasks may cross departments and can be matched to your abilities and the restrictions provided by your doctor.

Each situation is different, depending on your employer’s policies, your particular job, and the impact of your condition on your ability to work. Transitional or modified work may involve planned absences or unplanned absences.

Your return-to-work plan should be consistent with your medical treatment plan. If you need assistance in returning to work and you are a New York Life Group Benefits Solutions customer with an open disability claim, the NYL GBS team will collaborate closely with you, your doctor, and your employer to develop a return-to-work plan based on your ability to work and the opportunities available for a smooth transition back to work.

 

Who knows about my disability?

It is up to you to choose what and how much information about your diagnosis, health condition, and the reasons for your absence to share with your employer and coworkers. NYL GBS will not share diagnosis information with your employer, but we may share limitations and restrictions or how your condition impacts your ability to perform your occupation.

 

Resources to Help You with Returning to Work

It is natural to feel anxious about returning to work after an absence. There are resources available to help you with this transition and with what to say when talking to supervisors and coworkers about your absence.

If your company offers an employee assistance program (EAP), a counselor may offer help in dealing with issues during your absence, as well as during your return to work.

If you are an NYL GBS customer with a disability claim or an open leave for your own health condition, ask your disability claim manager or leave manager to put you in touch with an NYL GBS Health Working Life vocational coach.

For further assistance, NYL GBS offers the Healthy Working Life Program which is comprised of Health Working Life vocational coaches who hold master’s degrees and are certified rehabilitation counselors. A vocational coach can help by providing guidance through counseling and specialized workplace recommendations.

New York Life Group Benefit Solutions products and services are provided by Life Insurance Company of North America and New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY, subsidiaries of New York Life Insurance Company.

Life Insurance Company of North America is not licensed in New York and does not conduct insurance business in New York.