Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Rehabilitation Counseling


Upton, Thomas D


Return – to – work programs are an essential element of the Workers’ Compensation process for successfully returning injured employees to work. Successful return-to-work has long- reaching effects for employer, employee, and society in general. Return-to-work programs have, historically, been proven to be cost-effective for employers over the long-term. However, employers still show hesitancy towards devoting full resources towards the programs due to cost concerns. Additionally, the recession has created a leaner workforce and employers are often operating on more constrained budgets, potentially causing more reductions in allocation of resources towards return-to-work efforts. This paper will examine current cost concerns and labor force environment employers are facing, the current cost-effectiveness of return-to-work programs and the implementation of return-to-work interventions that hinder and facilitate employees returning to work, which would effect whether they appear to be cost-effective for employers.