Office of the Chief Information Officer

United States Department of Agriculture

Departmental Regulation 4430-005

Office of Procurement and Property Management

Workers’ Compensation Program: Return to Work


This directive sets forth the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) policy for returning injured workers (IWs) to suitable work following an on-the-job injury or illness. The USDA Workers’ Compensation (WC) Return to Work (RTW) Program is a Department-wide mitigation strategy to facilitate the corporate responsibility of returning these employees to suitable work within their employing Agency or in another USDA Agency that is able to offer placement opportunities. It standardizes the RTW approach across USDA Mission Areas, Agencies and Staff Offices. The RTW Program encompasses both temporary light duty assignments and permanent position changes or accommodations. An effective USDA Return-to-Work program sustains organizational productivity across USDA as it:

a. Reduces lost work time;

b. Reduces Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Program (DOL/OWCP) chargeback costs to agencies; and

c. Provides employees injured in the course of performing official duties the dignity of performing appropriate work when determined able to do so by the attending physician. Such work could be in either the employing agency or another USDA Agency or staff office.