Join The Conversation

Thank you for visiting the Expanding Access To Evidence-based, Early Intervention (EBEI) Stay-at-work/Return-to-work Services and Supports Online Dialogue

This Online Event is Now Closed for Participation

Please feel free to review the comments and suggestions posted by participants below and email ePolicyWorks@dol.gov with your questions or additional feedback.

Each year, millions of workers develop a chronic illness or sustain an injury that threatens their ability to work. Many of them run the risk of leaving the labor force, especially if they do not receive and use timely and effective health, rehabilitation, and employment services. And many of those who do leave the labor force will end up relying on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare, and Medicaid for income support and health care. Even with this assistance, however, the standard of living of many of these individuals and their families is likely to decline.

The timely, effective targeting of individuals who need services and supports to remain in the labor force is one of many issues that are being addressed by the Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy’s Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work (SAW/RTW) Policy Collaborative . Led by David Stapleton, a working group is identifying, developing, and sharing actionable policy recommendations for expanding timely access to SAW/RTW services and supports, which can make all the difference between working and not working. The working group’s recommendations listed below concern SAW/RTW efforts that could be initiated by the Federal Government and state governments, which could, in turn, make use of private-sector services. Suggestions for steps that could be taken by decision makers in the private sector are also encouraged.

As you review the policy recommendations, we ask that you consider the following questions:

  • Question 1:
    Based on your experience, how would you operationalize the recommendation?
  • Question 2:
    Are there particular programmatic or other factors that the recommendation fails to account for?

This online dialogue is now closed. Thank you for your input and for sharing your suggestions on the five policy recommendations listed below.

To learn more about this dialogue, visit Learn More about This Dialogue.

Topic: Website

States can draw on existing resources to expand EBEI supports

As states develop strategic plans under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), they should consider expanding access to EBEI supports to workers with limited access. The first step is to identify workers in the target population. A state could then consider how to fund expanded access through, for example, state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies, American Job Centers (AJCs), and state Workers’ Compensation ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

21 votes
21 up votes
0 down votes
Ideate

Topic: Website

Optimize EBEI supports for state employees

States are major employers themselves, and should consider steps that would improve the EBEI services available to their own employees. Washington’s legislature has enacted a Return-to-Work (RTW) program for state workers with job-related injuries and illnesses that requires identifying RTW coordinators in each state agency training supervisors, and coordinating an employee assistance program, as appropriate. The same ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

17 votes
18 up votes
1 down votes
Ideate

Topic: Website

Support state EBEI expansion initiatives at the federal level

The federal government should consider a variety of options for supporting state initiatives to expand EBEI access. In particular, government agencies can identify opportunities in WIOA programs to encourage and support state efforts that expand EBEI services to workers in the target population. Such opportunities include providing guidance on WIOA state plans; identifying unclaimed federal VR matching funds in the VR ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

7 votes
11 up votes
4 down votes
Ideate

Topic: Website

Optimize EBEI supports for federal employees

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in collaboration with the Department of Labor and other federal agencies should consider (1) examining the extent to which federal workers have access to EBEI services and (2) expanding EBEI services to workers in the target population, as warranted. Since the federal government ultimately pays for all disability benefits paid to former federal employees, the potential for federal ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

4 votes
7 up votes
3 down votes
Ideate

Topic: Website

Increase federal and foundation support for EBEI evaluations

Federal and foundation support for evaluations of innovative state and private EBEI initiatives would expand the evidence base on these programs. The evaluations should focus on innovations that expand timely EBEI services to workers most likely to benefit from expanded access even while some of them are employed and others have not yet reached the point of applying for SSDI. There are several ways to identify people ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

20 votes
21 up votes
1 down votes
Ideate

Displaying all 5 Ideas