Option 2 Services

Option 2 Vocational Counseling and Job Placement Services

These are interim guidelines updated July 18, 2017. Rules are still under development. Until the rules are finalized, we are using requirements drafted at preliminary stakeholder meetings with representatives from business and labor.

Option 2 allows workers access to training funds for self-directed training plans. Up to 10% of a workers available training funds may be used for vocational counseling and job placement services if both of the following are true:

  • The workers plan was approved on or after July 31, 2015.
  • We have granted Option 2 benefits to the worker.

Vocational counseling services may include, but are not limited to:

  • Help in accessing available community services to assist the worker with reentering the workforce.
  • Assistance in developing a training plan.
  • Coaching and guidance as requested by the worker.
  • Interests and skills assessment, if the worker requests or agrees it is needed to reach the workers training or employment goals.
  • Other services directly related to vocational counseling, such as job readiness and interview practice.

Job placement services may include, but are not limited to:

  • Help in developing an action plan for return to work.
  • Job development, including contacting potential employers on the workers behalf.
  • Job search assistance.
  • Job application assistance.
  • Help in obtaining employment as a preferred worker, if certified, up to and including educating the employer on preferred worker incentives.
  • Other services directly related to job placement, such as targeted resume development and referral to community resources (WorkSource).

How to use Option 2 vocational services

When a worker chooses Option 2, we do the following:

  • End time-loss benefits.
  • Issue Option 2 benefits:
    • A vocational award (an amount of money usually equal to 9 months of time-loss compensation), and
    • A training fund (to use for school — up to 10% can be used for vocational counseling and job placement services).
  • Close the claim.

Beginning the date we grant Option 2 benefits, the worker may:

  1. Select a qualified vocational rehabilitation provider:
    • Use the vocational provider he or she worked with previously during plan development/implementation, or
    • Contact our Option 2 Specialist at 360-902-9135 for a listing of vocational providers in their geographic area.
  2. Collaborate with the selected provider to create a service agreement designed to achieve the workers goals.
  3. Share access to claim documents with the selected provider if requested:
    • For State Fund claims, only the worker has access to the claim file through the Claim and Account Center (CAC) after the claim closes. If the worker chooses, he or she may share claim documents with the vocational provider.
    • For self-insured claims, the vocational provider should contact the self-insured employer or its third-party administrator (TPA) to access the workers file.
  4. Receive vocational and job placement services from the selected provider.

How to provide Option 2 services

As a vocational rehabilitation provider, you will:

  1. Complete one of the summary forms:
  2. Submit the summary form(s) (occasionally, case notes may be requested to provide more detailed documentation of services rendered):
    • State Fund claims
    • Mail: Labor & Industries
      PO Box 44291
      Olympia WA 98504-4291
      Fax: 360-902-4567
    • Self-insured claims
      Contact the self-insured employer or its TPA to discuss reporting preferences.
  3. Bill us for services by mail using the following paper invoice form (we will notify you when our system is ready to accept electronic billing):

Questions?

Contact the Option 2 Helpline:

Option 2 FAQs

Expand/collapse group

Expand/collapse Who can provide workers Option 2 vocational counseling and job placement services?
  • A credentialed vocational rehabilitation provider who meets the qualifications in WAC 296-19A-210 (app.leg.wa.gov) and obtains a provider number from L&I. Interns cannot provide Option 2 services.
  • A public sector organization that provides such services, such as WorkSource.
Expand/collapse Who pays vocational providers for Option 2 vocational counseling and job placement services?

L&I or the self-insured employer pays the vocational provider from the workers Option 2 benefits in response to appropriately submitted billings.

Expand/collapse How is the 10% for Option 2 vocational services and job placement services calculated?

Training funds are expended in the order of bills received by L&I or the self-insured employer. For example, if the workers maximum Option 2 training fund was $17,500, 10% for vocational counseling and job placement services would be $1,750. However, if L&I received training bills of $15,900 before receiving any bills for vocational counseling or job placement services, the remaining amount of the fund would be only $1,600. The 10% services are available for the same 5-year period as the Option 2 training benefits.

Expand/collapse How much can the vocational provider charge L&I or the self-insured employer?

The vocational provider must charge for services in billable hour increments as listed in L&Is current vocational services Medical Aid Rules and Fee Schedules: Vocational Services.

The vocational provider cannot bill for:

  • Travel or wait time.
  • Completion of the Option 2 Vocational Services Summary form.

In addition, the vocational provider may not bill the worker directly for services.

Expand/collapse Can the vocational provider bill L&I or the self-insured employer for services after claim closure?

Yes, the vocational provider can provide Option 2 vocational counseling or job placement services and bill for these services after claim closure, as long as the worker has sufficient:

  • Time remaining under Option 2; Option 2 is available to the worker for up to 5 years after the Option 2 approval.
  • Funds available for Option 2 vocational counseling and job placement services. Available funds will depend on how much has already been spent by the worker.
Expand/collapse How can the vocational provider verify the worker has sufficient Option 2 funds to pay for services?

For State Fund claims, the worker can sign a release allowing the vocational provider to call the L&I Option 2 Specialist (360-902-9135) for this information. For self-insured claims, contact the self-insured employer or its TPA.

Expand/collapse If the vocational provider delivered Option 2 services before 11/04/16, do they need to submit a summary form for prior dates of service?
  • For dates of service prior to 11/04/16, a form is not necessary. The vocational provider should submit case notes, dates of service, and units (minutes, etc.) to L&I or the self-insured employer.
  • For dates of service after 11/04/16, the summary form is required.
Expand/collapse What if the Option 2 vocational services were provided over 1 year ago?

The vocational provider should submit documentation summarizing the services provided and include the dates of service and units (minutes). This will help L&I or the self-insured employer determine appropriate payment.

Expand/collapse What recourse does a worker have if they have a complaint about Option 2 vocational counseling or job placement services received?

The worker can contact the Option 2 Specialist (360-902-9135) who may refer the complaint to Private Sector Rehabilitation Services (PSRS).

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