Newstalk KBKW

DOC Reimbursed for Helping Injured Workers Stay on the Job

These include:

  • Documentation from the health care provider (HCP) that the worker can’t do their regular job.
  • A written job description for modified duty signed by the HCP.
  • Attendance and payroll records for the modified duty hours.
  • Receipts for tools or equipment purchased to help with return to work.

DOC is benefiting from and L&I program by keeping staff at work while they recover from injury. Since DOC can request reimbursement for modified duty assignments back to June 15, 2011, when the law was passed, there is a backlog of claims which could generate reimbursement. The HR Claim Management Unit in Lacey is responsible for submitting the claim documentation which often includes preparing a job description for a modified duty position and asking the HCP for a signature retrospectively. The first application submitted to L&I was 29 pages.

“The Claim Management Unit has a big job to filter through the backlog of claims,” said Haley. “They have been doing a great job navigating through this complex paperwork.”

The Unit started processing reimbursement claims at the top of the alphabet with Airway Heights Corrections Center. So far all of the money received has been for Airway Heights and CCD claims. The money received will be used to help offset associated costs.

As of December local HR offices are following specific guidelines when offering modified duty to be sure all of the documentation is ready to submit to L&I. These records will be forwarded to the Claims Management Unit for the actual application process.

At this point it’s hard to estimate how much DOC will be reimbursed, but it could be thousands of dollars for each worksite.

- Vicki Skeers, Occupational Nurse Consultant

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