Tennessee Program Gives 'Hope' to Injured Workers Post Settlement
By Nancy Grover
Injured workers who settle their claims often share a common feeling: despair. Even though they may have walked away with a large sum of money and are free to visit the medical providers of their own choosing, experts say many also are concerned and anxious — about having to navigate the healthcare system on their own with no nurse case manager or even a claims adjuster to help guide them, and running out of money. The good news is, there are increasingly programs and services aimed at helping these injured workers get back on their feet.
The situation “reminds me of a family member of mine who didn’t work for many years; his wife supported him, but he was miserable. He found a program for disabled people and began to work again,” said Brian Holmes, director of Mediation and Ombudsman Services for the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. “His quality of life and attitude toward life improved dramatically.”
Holmes is overseeing a new program to help injured workers who can’t return to their pre-injury employment status and are in danger of running out of money. Called Next Step, the program provides money and resources to help them find new ways to earn an income.