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Case studies

Every business is different and employees suffer with long-term illnesses in different ways. This is why we make sure that every Group Income Protection claim is treated on an individual basis. In every case, we’ll draw on our experience to examine the circumstances carefully, and help your employees recover and return to work as quickly as possible.

Working together…

After back surgery, a 37-year-old woman had been away from work for four months. She was still having mobility problems, describing weakness and stiffness in her legs, and her consultant had referred her for physiotherapy but her condition was unlikely to improve much further. We arranged for her to meet an Occupational Health visitor.

Together, it was agreed that it could be useful to conduct a workstation assessment, particularly looking at her seating. Her employer followed the recommendations and everyone agreed a phased return-to-work over a four-week period. The woman started this phased return to work after receiving one month's full benefit, and eventually returned to work in a full-time capacity. We were able to help in this example by:

We took the following steps to ensure the employee returned to work, as soon as possible:

  • Provided additional support services (Occupational Health assessments).
  • Gave the employee financial assistance (one month's benefit) and support.
  • Helped the employer find a workplace solution to facilitate early return to work, reducing the amount of time this employee was away from work.

Finding alternatives…

A 51-year-old man had been absent from work for six weeks, following the breakdown of his marriage and a recent family bereavement. He had started to show symptoms of anxiety and depression.

His employer had a 52-week deferred period on their Group Income Protection policy, but they let us know about his absence after six weeks. We talked to everyone involved: the employer, the employee, and the employee’s GP. His GP agreed that counselling could be useful, but there was a lengthy waiting list for NHS counselling in the area. So we decided to fund a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy instead. After this therapy sessions, the man returned to work on a phased basis and was back at work full-time well within the deferred 52-week period, with no need for the company to make a claim.

In this instance we took the following steps to ensure the employee returned to work, as soon as possible:

  • Consulted with everyone involved to find the best, personalised course of action.
  • Found an alternative appropriate treatment (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).
  • Reduced the amount of time this employee could have been absent.
  • Resolved the situation without the company needing to make a claim.

Giving prompt support…

A 51-year-old woman had been away from work due to breast cancer. Her employer let us know about her absence after six weeks. When our Rehabilitation Case Manager spoke to her, she'd had surgery and was due to start chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

At the time, we couldn't offer our early intervention services but we did refer her to 'Look Good, Feel Better', a cancer support charity that helps women manage the visible side-effects of cancer. She made an appointment, and started using their make-up techniques to help her feel better about her appearance. The NHS has since offered her the same service but, by referring her promptly, she had valuable additional support right from the beginning of her treatment.

We helped by:

  • Understanding the value of prompt referrals to specialist organisations.
  • Offering referrals for services that complement medical treatments.
  • Restoring confidence, vital for a successful return to work.

WC01787 02/2015

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