Avoid an odd lot total and permanent settlement!

Liala Slaise, just one of our many talented Vocational Counselors that is located in Southern Illinois, closed a case that resulted in a Placement outcome.

The Injured Worker (IW) was a 52-year-old Physical Education Teacher who had sustained a back injury. She had been released to RTW at the light to medium level with the need to alternate her sitting/standing/walking every 15-30 minutes. Her treating physician had noted that she was not capable of working.  She was referred for a Vocational Assessment 9 years post-injury in 2014.

The Assessment was completed and concluded that there were vocational options for her. Liala testified to this opinion and the file was subsequently closed.

The file was re-opened in 4/2015 after the IW's attorney obtained a vocational opinion from an academic who believed that there was no stable labor market for the IW to return to. The Arbitrator agreed with Liala's position and the IME physician who felt that work was, in fact, possible and ordered that Placement services be provided for the IW which only totaled 8 weeks

The IW was frustrated, as she had been looking for work, but was not getting a response from potential employers. Liala provided Job Seeking Skills Training and pointed out that her resume, cover letters, and her presentation and interviewing style, were likely the cause of the disinterest from potential employers. Her resume and cover letters were revised and the other issues were addressed. The IW obtained a non-tenured instructor position at a local college. Total cost on the file was just over $10,000. The total time the file was open was roughly 4 ½ months counting both periods of time the file was active.

The IW's attorney advised that he felt that the job was just "luck" given that she had already been looking for work and had just not been successful up to that point. There was no luck involved. Liala identified the issues and resolved them. As a result, the Odd Lot Total and Permanent went away.


Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule!

Liala would welcome your Vocational referrals in downstate Illinois,

and the rest of the TRIUNE Health Group Team is always available

to assist you in your area.


To learn more about our company or to make a referral,

contact Stephen Sprauer at 800.633.0884 or visit our website.

Looking for Great Results?

The Injured Worker (IW) was a 52-year-old HVAC Technician who sustained a right knee injury. Following surgery, the IW was released to a less than full range of medium work and could not return to his regular duty position. The IW's work history included a cement mason, cement finisher foreman and superintendent, as well as other more dated occupations.
The file was originally referred for a Labor Market Survey completed by Monika Dabrowiecka. The file was then re-opened 8 months later with a request for a male vocational rehabilitation counselor and Ruben Luna provided Job Seeking Skills Training and Resume Development. Monica again stepped in and began Job Placement efforts. Within just 4 weeks, the IW had several promising interviews. The IW required motivational counseling and redirection on an ongoing basis, but secured employment as a superintendent with a yearly salary of $54,000 and full benefits. The wage differential on this case is about $2.00 per hour.
This file was open for roughly 3 months at a total cost of under $3,500. This IW was motivated and the referral was made by the Account approximately 2 years earlier than our average placement file.....EARLY REFERRALS often pay off.
Monika, Ruben and the entire Vocational Team would welcome the opportunity to handle a case for you.
Let us show you what we can do.

We Help Job Seekers Everywhere

The unemployment rate in Illinois continues to be above the national average and, yes, it is harder to locate job openings, to secure an interview, and to actually get hired. Monika Dabrowiecka, a TRIUNE Health Group Vocational Counselor, placed an Injured Worker (IW) who had sustained a right thumb/wrist injury as a welder, and had been off work for almost 3 years.
Job placement efforts began and throughout the process, the IW was discouraged by the lack of opportunities in rural Illinois. Monika worked to keep the IW focused on Return to Work (RTW) efforts through frequent motivational counseling, providing him with pre-screened job leads and intervening with prospective employers to advocate on the IW's behalf. Despite the limited options, the IW did obtain a full-time position as a shop supervisor/merchandiser within 15 miles of his home.
We know that not everyone goes back to work, but Monika or any of our Team Members will be happy to assist one of your claimants in their RTW efforts. Some IW's just need the right amount of encouragement to return to a productive lifestyle.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss
the needs on one of your files!

Benefit of the Doubt

Caroline Ward-Kniaz and Al Weir, team members of the TRIUNE Health Group Vocational Department, collaborated and provided documentation to bring this file to an optimal resolution.

The case involved a 63-year-old Injured Worker (IW) who was referred for Job Placement 19 months post-injury. He had undergone right bicep tendon repair and left knee arthroscopy. He had also sustained a right shoulder tear, left shoulder strain and had left Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Despite the multitude of issues, the IW was released to lifting up to 60 pounds and no overhead lifting over 30 pounds. The employer of record could not accommodate these restrictions.

The IW had been employed as a loader operator for over 20 years with one employer. He did have a high school diploma and resided in a small town. His appearance was less than professional and he struggled with writing and spelling. The referral source was advised that this would be a difficult placement file given the IW's age, limited education, limited work history, geographic location and hourly wage of more than $29.00 at the time of injury. Despite the barriers, placement efforts were pursued. Job Seeking Skills Training was provided, various resumes developed and a Rehabilitation Plan agreed to.

At TRIUNE Health Group we believe in the dignity of all people and tend to trust that we are receiving a good faith effort until we have cause to believe otherwise. For this reason, we perform routine verification of IW/potential employer interactions and make every effort to validate information reported by the IW in job placement meetings. In this case, a pattern of IW deception related to the extent of his physical restrictions emerged. The IW also misinformed potential employers about his driving abilities, what he would accept in wages (always consistent with his pre-injury wage) and as already noted, physical restrictions exceeding those imposed on him. It was noted by several potential employers that the IW did not appear to want a job. The IW was counseled to cease this behavior, but it persisted.

The information was shared with our Account and the IW's TTD benefits were terminated. The case was settled and we were advised that the verification documentation solidified the defense of the file which never went to trial.

Second Time is the Charm

Amanda Ortman in the Vocational Department at TRIUNE Health Group is completing her work on the case of a 38 year old propane delivery driver who sustained a low back injury.  The file was referred for job placement when it was determined that the medium duty release obtained from the treating physician was not sufficient to allow for a RTW with the employer of record since the job was classified as very heavy.  The file was referred roughly 17 months post the date of injury.  The Injured Worker (IW) did not require surgery and had a diagnosis of Degenerative Disc Disease.  Pain was the primary limiting factor.

There were significant compliance issues with the IW initially with him missing meetings, not following up on leads and other tasks, failing to call Amanda as requested, etc.  Despite this, Amanda felt that the IW wanted assistance and wanted to RTW. Amanda prepared a Rehabilitation Plan together with the IW.  Amanda also provided the IW with Job Seeking Skills Training, prepared a resume for him, set up an e-mail account to be used specifically for job search activities which she would have access to and engaged in job development activities on his behalf.  The W had previous work experience in such areas as forklift operations, truck mechanic, warehouse operations and as a farm hand.

The IW obtained a job as a trailer mechanic paying $15.00 per hour (pre-injury wages were based on an hourly rate of roughly $18.00 per hour), but he was laid off for lack of work about a month after starting the job.  Amanda was asked to resume placement activities and within three weeks of additional placement assistance the IW secured employment as a truck technician/mechanic with a rate of pay of $19.00 per hour. The IW obtained 2 positions within a 6 month period of time in the Joliet area.

Amanda and the entire Vocational Team at TRIUNE Health Group would welcome the opportunity to be of service to you.  Please contact us regarding your next case by calling our Vocational Services Manager, Stephen Sprauer at 800/633-0884 or by visiting our website at TRIUNEHG.com.