A Department of Labor & Industries order becomes final 60 days after the Department communicates the order to the required parties unless a written request for reconsideration, also known as a “protest,” or an appeal is filed. See RCW 51.52.050(1). A protest “automatically operates to set aside the Department’s order and hold in abeyance the final adjudication of the matter until the Department officially acts to issue its final decision by a ‘further appealable order.’” Santos Alonzo, 56,833 and 56,833A, 1981 WL 375946, at *3 (Wash. Bd. of Indus. Ins. Appeals Dec. 9, 1981); (RCW 51.52.060).(more…)
After a multi-year battle spearheaded by the attorneys at Washington Law Center, a Hanford nuclear site worker exposed to toxic chemicals over the course of his employment was finally paid the benefits he’s been owed for years. Getting three years of benefits paid was a huge win for our client.
The Department of Energy fought us every step of the way, forcing us to spend thousands of dollars and hire multiple attorneys to get the benefits to which all Washington workers are entitled.
New legislation passed this year will help other Hanford workers pursue their claims without the same difficulties. Washington Law Center is poised to help these deserving worker’s get what’s owed to them.
The Hanford is a former nuclear production facility where the U.S. government produced plutonium for use in nuclear weapons. The site was decommissioned in 1989.
Can I get my residence modified under the Industrial Insurance Act as part of Washington’s workers’ compensation system of benefits?
The short answer is “yes, but only in limited circumstances.” If you are in true need of such benefits, for either a home or rental property in which you live, you should take care to read the following information. Make sure your Attending Physician is aware of the rules set forth below as well. You will then need the Attending Provider to request that a residency modification consultant is assigned to your L&I case. The Attending Provider should also give a preliminary written opinion as to the types of modifications the Attending Physician believes you may likely need. This will begin the process.
A residency modification consultant will then be employed at the cost of the employer or state fund. The consultant will be a licensed physical or occupational therapist or a licensed nurse who has experience in rehabilitation of catastrophic injuries and residency modifications. The residency modification consultant will work with the Department of Labor & Industries, Self-Insured Employer (unless the claim is a state fund claim), the injured worker and the Attending Physician to determine which modifications are medically necessary. It is the job of the residency modification consultant to work with a licensed contractor to submit a written report requesting approval of the modifications, including the costs of architectural, engineering, predesign and planning services which may be requested. (more…)
Monitoring an injured worker’s progress during training
Writing retraining progress reports and submitting these to the Department of Labor and Industries
Analyzing and documenting the transferable skills of the injured or ill worker and writing a transferable skills analysis
Performing occupational research
Conducting labor market surveys and writing labor market survey reports
Conducting and writing job analyses
Communicating with industrially-injured or ill workers, employers, physicians, and others
Developing job modifications and worksite modifications, as well as pre-employment accommodations, and writing reports for this work
Performing work to obtain any job with any employer for injured workers referred for vocational services
An injured worker with an astute eye will immediately realize that many of the so-called “services” provided by a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) assigned either by the Department of Labor & Industries or the Self-Insured Employer (usually acting through a Third-Party Administrator or TPA) are contrary to the interests of the injured or ill worker who believes they cannot work. In this sense, WAC 296-19A-020 provides for “disservices” to the injured workers, and the defense interests know this well! (more…)
What is an Ability to Work Assessment (AWA) under the Industrial Insurance Act?
Injured workers often get assigned a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) in their industrial insurance claim. The purpose of this assignment is often to perform an Ability to Work Assessment. The outcome of this assessment will literally determine whether the injured worker is allowed to remain on time-loss benefits and retrain for lighter work, whether they are recommended for a lifetime of injury pension benefits, or whether their L&I claim will close with a recommendation that they can still work despite the serious limitations caused by their industrial injury or occupational disease. (more…)