Services we Provide
RETURN TO WORK PROGRAM
At Independence Incorporated, we take care to ensure all return to work issues are dealt with in a comprehensive and proactive manner. This includes the following:
- Clarification of any work related restrictions and / or accommodation requirements
- Identification of available return to work options (same, modified or alternate work)
- Development, implementation and monitoring of graduated return to work plan
Case management support is available to assist with numerous injury or illness claims in the area of rehabilitation coordination. We are experienced in the coordination requirements for clients with singular soft tissue injuries to complex, multi-traumatic injuries as well as multi-systems illness involvement.
Our experienced evaluators including registered nurses and occupational therapists provide comprehensive assessments of the personal care needs of their clients. In the case of automobile accident clients, careful and systematic determinations are made as to those functional limitations that are not related to the accident.
To ensure the most optimal transition from hospital to the community for our clients, our staff can assist with comprehensive discharge planning services. This may include home assessments as well as in hospital personal care needs assessments to accurately determine appropriate support services or devices that may be required. Recommendations for rehabilitation services in the community often result in maintenance of the therapeutic momentum already established in the hospital.
Helping our clients function at home means improving their ability to return to and function at work. Home assessments address issues of accessibility, perceived and actual stressors, and gauge the number of responsibilities affecting one's ability to manage daily affairs. These issues and more can impact clients' abilities to effectively manage at work.
An ergonomic assessment considers the relationship between a person and their work environment. It may take into account physical factors, work systems and other work related processes. At Independence Incorporated;
- we ensure the ergonomic assessment service meets identified needs
- use relevant legislation, codes of practice, standards and current research in ergonomics
- ensure a match between people and their activities, equipment, environment and systems
- include all findings in a written assessment
- Undertake evaluation and follow up as per the contract.
Job Demands Analysis (JDA) takes into account:
- Environmental components
- Sensory components
- Cognitive / Psychosocial factors
- Physical components, such as - lifting / lowering / carrying /pushing / pulling efforts- posture / mobility requirements / aerobic efforts / Repetitive motion efforts / shift exposures (frequency and duration), critical tasks and ergonomic concerns.
- The JDA is often helpful for the following reasons;
- Claims management processes
- Establishment of standard operating procedures
- Establishment of accurate job descriptions
- Identifying high-risk tasks and/or potential ergonomic problems (red flags)
- Identifying additional skills or training needs of employees
- Identifying bona fide occupational requirements
- Designing appropriate functional capacity evaluations
- Development of specific rehabilitation or work conditioning processes
- Identifying appropriate return to work processes / schedules
- Educating new hires
Our experienced staff is available to assess permanent impairments arising from injuries sustained in automobile accidents. This includes scarring, range of motion and other related impairments.
One Point Assessment – Client Interview - The one point assessment involves a visit with the injured or ill client either in their home or in our office. The interview is thorough, systematic and assists in establishing baseline vocational rehabilitation potential.
Two Point Assessment – In the two point assessment, the client interview is followed (with the client's signed consent) by either in person consultation or written correspondence with the primary caregivers involved. This process assists in clarifying appropriate support and rehabilitation interventions geared towards maximizing quality of life and vocational rehabilitation potential.
Three point Assessments – The three point assessment complements the client interview and care team consultation with a visit to the worksite and communication with the employer. Some of the many ways this contact is helpful includes:
- clarifying issues related to performance history
- verifying availability of modified work if required
- assessments of worksite conflict issues that may affect return to work plans
- Creating joint team effort approach between management and union in unionized settings
**Information related to medical diagnoses and conditions are not shared with employers. Employers are entitled to know and must be made aware of functional limitations and restrictions affecting the employee's ability to meet the demands of the job. **
A comprehensive vocational evaluation has been developed to test individuals using a combination of paper and pencil tests, a computer assessment, and hands-on work samples. These tests are designed to assess an individual's interests, aptitudes, and achievement level as may be required to identify employment options.
Interest Tests are used to assist the individual to identify preferred work environments, workstyles, and occupational groups (i.e. mechanical, sales, technical, service).
Aptitude Tests are used to identify capacities or specific abilities which an individual must have in order to learn to perform a given work activity. Aptitudes may be measured through paper and pencil tests and through the computer assessment and work samples.
Achievement Tests identify the educational level at which an individual is functioning. General Educational Development, as measured by the computer assessment, measures the worker's reasoning development and the ability to follow instructions as well as language and mathematics skills.
Computer Assessment including the work samples, measures General Educational Development along with 10 aptitudes and 12 occupational interest groups. Using the results of these tests, a Personal Qualifications Profile for the individual is established. This profile is then used to create a list of potential vocational and employment options. With this list, the individual or consultant can investigate further the requirements and availability of occupational options in his/her area.
Our approach to vocational assessment and evaluation takes into account the aptitudes, academic achievements, and transferable skills of the injured/ill person. We find the interpretation and utilization of the results of vocational assessment is an important part in the vocational rehabilitation counselling process. We are sensitive to the needs of the insuring party in establishing practical, reasonable vocational goals, which are in line with established policies and guidelines. Other factors considered in this process include:
- detailed vocational history and transferable skills analysis (TSA)
- definitive establishment of medical restrictions if unknown prior to referral
- compilations of suitable occupations based on TSA and aptitude test results
- Labour market survey of identified and determined occupations, including information on job availabilities and wages.
Aptitudes are natural talents, special abilities for doing, or how we to “catch-on” to new tasks. For example, they measure Manual dexterity, spatial perception, motor coordination, and problem solving. In a comprehensive battery of tests, these and other aptitudes are measured. These measured traits are highly stable over long-term periods.
Every occupation -- whether it is engineering, health care aide, law or customer service rep -- uses certain aptitudes. The work clients are most likely to enjoy and be successful in is work that uses their aptitudes. For example, if you are a mechanic but possesses aptitudes not used by mechanics, your work might seem unrewarding. If you lack the mechanical aptitudes, your work may be difficult or unpleasant.
Aptitude testing is one tool for career selection. It can help clients find where their aptitudes lie, what type of work uses those aptitudes, and why certain occupations may be more rewarding than others. Independence Incorporated provides employment counseling services, reviewing the inventory of client's aptitudes and examples of types of work suggested by the combination of these aptitudes.
A TSA is a systematic review of work history providing a compilation of associated skills. Independence Incorporated uses the Valpar Pro 3000 Work History computerized assessment system, ensuring an in-depth evaluation of all available transferable skills. This system combines known physical and / or environmental limitations, with existing educational achievements to generate suitable occupations for consideration.
Systematic investigation of occupations under consideration by clients including information on job availabilities and wages.
Our experienced vocational staff is available to assist with thorough resume development including appropriate cover letter creation.
For clients away from the work force for extended time periods, a review of effective interview strategies is often helpful in allaying anxiety and rebuilding confidence.
The job search assistance program is started once realistic occupational choices have been established. This program is tailored to the needs of each individual client and may include some or all of the following components;
- Regular client meetings to establish responsibilities and obligations during job search process, including goal setting and establishment of activity log.
- Resume preparation, interview coaching and network development
- Daily review of classified employment ads, in newspapers, Internet and network of employment centers
Independence Incorporated is able to provide case management support services by seasoned, knowledgeable and dependable case managers. Our understanding of insurance policy parameters including limits and entitlements ensures establishment of realistic client expectations regarding available resources.
Situations where third party case management support may be considered include:
- External “buffer” required due to marked deterioration in relationship between claimant and insurance case manager or employer
- Complex file where focused attention is required on numerous fronts including issues pertaining to medical treatment, rehabilitation interventions, domestic factors and vocational concerns.
- Periods of prolonged heavy caseloads.
- Independence Incorporated is able to provide case management support services by seasoned, knowledgeable and dependable case managers. Our understanding of insurance policy parameters including limits and entitlements ensures establishment of realistic client expectations regarding available resources.
Situations where third party case management support may be considered include:
- Appeal Process – On occasions where a claim has been declined, an independent case manager would review additional appeal material provided by the Insurer to render an independent decision or, make recommendations for future claims handling, should additional information be required. The independent case manager can coordinate this process and render a decision once all the material has been reviewed.
- Heavy Caseload Relief – an independent case manager can be contracted to provide additional, temporary staffing in times of heavy caseloads, or vacation planning. Our trained case managers are fully qualified and experienced in the many facets of case management.
- Complex File Review – our experienced case managers will review complex claim files and make recommendations for future handling. This would include focused attention wherever needed, including issues pertaining to medical treatment, rehabilitation interventions, domestic factors, and vocational concerns.
- Insurer/Employer Relationship – an external case manager can be contracted to coordinate claims where an external buffer may be required due to marked deterioration between the claimant and the insurance case manager, or employer.
- Independent Review – an independent case manager can be obtained by the employer/union to review and provide feed back on the claims process to date, make recommendations, and communicate with the Insurer to facilitate these.
- Other Situations – unsure if we can assist? Please contact us with your needs and we will endeavour to make a recommendation that meets your requirements.
Successful implementation of a corporate Disability Management (DM) program depends on theory as well as practice. DM is about the process of vocational rehabilitation, not about the disability itself. Independence Incorporated provides practical advice on implementing and enhancing the quality of corporate Disability Management programs.