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Tips for Going Back to Work after a Catastrophic Injury

November 24, 2015

For many people, going back to work after a spinal cord or brain injury is a major goal. While it may not be for everyone, there are somethings you can do to help prepare for going back to work or volunteering. These tips are provided by Craig Hospital's Community Reintegration team.


  1. Plan ahead. Have a good idea of a realistic timeline.
  2. Talk to your treatment team about your limitations. Prepare for returning to work by communicating with doctor and therapists so that you are aware of your limitations and potentials restrictions.
  3. Build endurance. You can build endurance by engaging in community activities.
  4. Know your benefits. You may have benefits available to you such as Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) and/or Long term disability (LTD).
  5. Ask for assistance from your treatment team. Community Reintegration exists to help be a liaison to our patients who are returning to work to pre-injury employers. If it’s appropriate, the patient’s occupational therapist can make a referral to the Community Reintegration Team.

Terms you may hear:

  • RTW – Return to Work
  • Community Reintegration – Craig Hospital program that helps patients address their needs returning to home, work, and school
  • SSDI – Social Security Disability Program
  • LTD – Long Term Disability: This can replace some of your income for an extended period of time, when you are not able to work at all or can only do part time because of a disability.

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