Vocational Services in L&I Claims: Upcoming Rule Changes

On October 22, the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) adopted rule changes relating to vocational services. The new rules will go into effect on January 1, 2020. The new rule language can be found on the L&I website.   Priority of returning injured workers to work Many of the changes are not substantial. However, […]

What are Vocational Services and Vocational Retraining in my claim?

  If you have a workers’ compensation claim or L&I claim in Washington State, you might receive vocational services. These services and benefits fall under the Industrial Insurance Act. However, they are complex because they are discretionary. This means that the director of L&I grants these benefits on a case-by-case basis.   Vocational services in […]

Vocational Services in Workers’ Compensation L&I claims – The “Plan Development” Phase

Introduction and context Today’s post in the series about vocational benefits in workers’ compensation claims and L&I claims is about “Plan Development”. Plan Development is a big, and somewhat complex topic. Today’s post will be one of several on this topic. During Plan Development the assigned vocational counselor attempts to identify a retraining goal and […]

Vocational Services in Workers’ Comp and L&I Claims – the Ability to Work Assessment (AWA)

In continuing with my recent series of posts about vocational services, today I’d like to discuss “Ability-to-Work Assessment” (AWA) services. The AWA is designed to provide the Department of Labor and Industries with vocational information so that it can make a claim related determination about an injured worker’s ability to work or eligibility for further […]

Vocational Services and Retraining in L&I Workers’ Compensation Claims in Washington State

Introduction If you’re in the process of working on your workers’ compensation claim or L&I claim, you might be eligible for vocational services. Vocational services are a somewhat complex benefit under the Industrial Insurance Act, because while other benefits are provided as a matter of right under the Act, vocational benefits are discretionary. This means […]

L&I Improves Vocational and Rehabilitation Services: New Rules

On June 4th, 2019, L&I announced it is beginning new rule making process to improve vocational services in workers’ compensation cases. According to L&I, this is because vocational services are critical for helping injured workers return to work. L&I believes that changes it has already made to vocational services have resulted in significant improvements. These […]

What is a Vocational Dispute Resolution or VRDO?

  We discussed the role of the vocational counselor in your L&I claim in other articles. Here, we’re going to go over disputes during the vocational and retraining process. More precisely, we’ll go over Vocational Dispute Resolution (VDRO).   Vocational and employment dispute in an L&I claim The vocational retraining benefits can be tremendous under […]

L&I Claims – Vocational Counselors and Early Intervention

I am a voice for injured workers. I advocate, speak and sometime scream on their behalf. One of the most common complaints I receive from injured workers going through early intervention vocational services, is that they feel other people are making important decisions about their lives and their future, without any regard to the injured […]

Vocational Counselor and Stand Alone Job Analysis in Your L&I claim

Do you understand the role of the vocational counselor in your L&I claim? Did your vocational counselor perform a stand alone job analysis? Hopefully the information below can help shed some light on the topic.   A vocational counselor may be assigned to your L&I claim at almost any point during the claim administration process. […]

L&I Claim Vocational benefits: Option 1 versus Option 2

What is Option 1 and Option 2? This article is part of our series about vocational benefits in workers’ compensation and L&I claims. In this article, we’ll address the topic of “Option 1 versus Option 2”. The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) approves a vocational retaining plan once the Plan Development phase is complete. […]