Introducing Your All-Star Disability Management Team

By Bob Cogburn, Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist

By Bob Cogburn,
Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist

I’m not much for soccer, but I’ve been loosely following the World Cup. I heard something about a popular American player who was left off the team, and it got me thinking: Lineups are as important in workers’ comp as they are in futbol. (Bear with me; the World Cup only comes around every four years.) With that in mind, here are the key players on any solid disability management team.

Safety professional
If you have made the commitment to hire a full-time safety pro, congratulations. If not, your insurance carrier can provide one. Their primary responsibility is preventing workplace accidents. But they may also be able to help you analyze job tasks and identify modified duty that injured employees can do while they recover.

Benefits specialist
Some employers hire benefits specialists to streamline the claims process. Their responsibilities can include explaining workers’ comp to injured workers, making sure they get the benefits they are entitled to and, most importantly, ensuring they have everything they need to get back to work as soon as medically reasonable.

Nurse case manager
Your insurance carrier likely employs nurse case managers who can facilitate cooperation with health care providers. After all, doctors frequently say things to other medical pros they won’t say to you or me.

Adjuster
When in doubt, call your adjuster. They know the in’s and out’s of your claims, and they can be a valuable resource. Work with them to achieve the best outcome on each claim.

There you go! Those are the key players on any solid disability management team. They’ll never be internationally known like their World Cup counterparts. They will, however, help you resolve your claims effectively. Along the way, they will help you improve your productivity and reduce your workers’ comp costs.

About the author

Bob Cogburn has nearly 25 years’ experience in vocational case management. Since 1997, he has been helping injured workers covered by a Texas Mutual policy rehabilitate and return to productive employment. Prior to joining Texas Mutual, Bob served as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the Department of Assistive Rehabilitation Services. He also spent time as a job placement counselor for Goodwill Industries and El Centro College. At El Centro, he managed a job club specializing in placing students with disabilities back into the workplace. Bob holds a bachelor’s in rehabilitation science from the University of Texas Health Science Center and a master’s in counseling from Amberton University.

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