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    Benefits & Certifications Unit   
503-947-7585   

I need to get back to work, what do I do?

Employer responsibilities and your rights

Modified work

Employer-at-Injury Program

Preferred Worker Program

Vocational Assistance

Vocational Service Providers


Employer responsibilities and your rights
Most Oregon employers with more than 20 workers are required to return you to your job or another suitable job after your doctor releases you to work. The insurer will send you written notice that your doctor released you to go back to work. When you receive this notice, you must ask your employer for your job or another suitable job within seven calendar days (sooner if your union contract or employer’s personnel policies require it) or you will lose your right to be reinstated with your employer.

In most situations, your employer is required to reinstate you to the job you had at the time you were injured. The reinstatement usually applies for up to three years from your date of injury. It does not apply if your physician certifies that you are unable to return to regular work, if you are eligible for and participate in vocational assistance, if you refuse to accept a modified job during your recovery period, or if you go to work for another employer after your doctor states you can return to work.

If you have questions about your reinstatement rights or believe you have been unfairly treated by your employer because of your injury, call the Bureau of Labor and Industries at 971-673-0764 (Portland area) or 541-686-7623 (outside the Portland area).


Modified work
If your employer offers you modified work, the job duties must be in writing and approved by your doctor. Contact your doctor to find out if you are physically able to do the job. If you find you cannot do the job due to your injury, contact your doctor immediately. If your modified work pays less than your job at the time of injury, you will receive time-loss checks (TPD) to make up part of the lost wages. If your doctor says you can do modified work, you must accept the job or your time-loss benefits (TTD) will be reduced or stopped. You may refuse a modified job without ending your time-loss benefits if the job is not with the employer at injury or at a job site of the employer at injury, or your doctor says you are physically unable to commute to the job site.


Employer-at-Injury Program
The Employer-at-Injury Program (EAIP) helps you stay on the job or get back to work with the employer at injury. It provides monetary incentives to your employer. For more information on the Employer at Injury Program, visit the EAIP portion of this Web site, or contact the Workers’ Compensation Division at 503-947-7588 in Salem, or toll-free 1-800-445-3948.


Preferred Worker Program -
If you are unable to return to your old job and have a permanent disability you may be eligible for the Preferred Worker Program. The Preferred Worker Program helps you get back to work by providing incentives for you to offer to an employer. For more information about the Preferred Worker Program, go the Preferred Worker Program portion of this site or contact the Workers’ Compensation Division at 503-947-7588 in Salem, or toll-free 1-800-445-3948.

Oregon employers post job openings on WCD's Web site for Preferred Workers. Employers who have posted jobs know about the Preferred Worker Program and by posting their job openings, they are saying they would like to use program incentives and hire preferred workers.

Preferred Worker Job Match

Preferred Worker Advisor newsletter - You may subscribe to this newsletter that is filled with tips about using the program and job hunting.

Vocational Assistance
Vocational assistance includes help with job placement and training. You may qualify for assistance if all of the following are true: you have a permanent disability, you cannot return to your regular job or another job that pays at least 80 percent of your wages at the time of your injury or aggravation, and you are authorized to work in the United States.

For more information about vocational assistance, go to the vocational assistance portion of this web site.

35 days after you become medically stationary, the insurer will determine if you are eligible for vocational assistance and notify you of its decision in writing. Contact the insurer if you need help getting back to work.


Vocational Service Providers
A List of Vocational Service Providers authorized by the Department of Consumer and Business Services to provide return-to-work help to injured workers is available on this site.

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If you have questions about this webpage, please contact Benefits & Certifications Unit, 503-947-7585.