Advocate Health Care
Disability Benefits / Leave of Absence


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Transitional Work Program

If you are disabled and unable to perform all the essential functions of your regular job because of that disability, the Transitional Work Program can provide you an opportunity to return to work while continuing to receive your pre-disability pay. A Transitional Work Program assignment is intended to be temporary in nature - in general, no more than 60 days, though an extension of up to 30 additional days may be granted - and is intended to help you:

Maintain a connection to the workplace
Retain your skills
Recover from your disability, and
Return to work as soon as possible.

To participate in the program, you must be eligible to receive benefits under the Advocate Disability Plan. You may apply for the Transitional Work Program or be selected for participation by the Disability Council. In general, you will be accepted into the program - and given a Transitional Work assignment - ONLY if your condition or prognosis is such that your return to your job within a 60 to 90-day period is likely.

Note: If you have a disability that will prevent you from returning to your former job, you will not be eligible to participate in the Transitional Work Program.

Once you're accepted into the program and a suitable work assignment identified, you will receive a written Transitional Work Agreement. This agreement will outline the offer to participate in the Transitional Work Program and specify the details of your work assignment (generally within your home department and consistent with any medical restrictions that may apply). If you:

Accept the assignment – you will begin working under the Transitional Work Program on the date specified in the agreement. The Disability Council will carefully monitor your progress toward a full release to return to work. While on assignment, you will receive your full pre-disability pay (pro-rated if the assignment calls for you to work fewer than 40 hours per week) and you will be able to accrue paid time off (PTO).
Decline the assignment – you will no longer be eligible to receive disability benefits. If you do not have leave available under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you will be considered to have voluntarily resigned your employment.

If you accept an assignment and the assignment is discontinued before you are able to return to full-time work, you will (in most cases) resume disability benefits in accordance with the terms of the Disability Income Protection Plan.

Note: The Transitional Work Program replaced the Limited Hours Program effective September 1, 2012. If you were on disability and participating under the Limited Hours Program as of August 31, 2012, any time counted under the Limited Hours Program will count toward the time limit under the Transitional Work Program.

Call the Disability Council at 847.685.1447, 7:30am – 4:30pm, M-F, CT