What's New for Vocational Counselors

The latest news

Resume Services

January 29, 2015

As a reminder, Labor and Industries may reimburse vocational providers for providing resume assistance on their open vocational referrals. We believe that this will contribute to the agency goal of helping injured workers heal and return to work. For additional information please see the Vocational Payment Policies in the 2014 L&I Medical Aid Rules and Fee Schedules.

Cell Phones

January 29, 2015

Labor and Industries allows individual VRCs the alternative of listing their cell phone numbers on the ORION vocational referral screen. The goal is to increase effective communication between VRCs and claim staff and contribute to two of our agency goals, helping injured workers heal and return to work and making it easy to do business with L&I. Use the VRC Primary Contact Form for the specific purpose of updating VRC phone numbers. The form was sent to all firm managers last year. If you need a copy, or have any questions, please contact Rheo Aieta at 360-902-5447.

A Unique Job Opportunity

December 17, 2014

Labor and Industries has an opening for Self-Insured Ombudsman. The Ombudsman acts as a resource and advocate for injured workers of self-insured employers who have concerns about their claim. This position is appointed by the Governor and reports to the L&I director. Interested or know someone who is? Check the link to learn more.

Vocational Fax

December 10, 2014

The Vocational Services Specialists fax machine is back up and running. Please remember to only fax documents requested by the Vocational Services Specialist to (360) 902-5035. All items not requested by a Vocational Services Specialist should be faxed to the Claim and Account Center.

Plan Development Good Cause Extension Requests Changes in the process

December 9, 2014

As you know, RCW 51.32.099 requires that the vocational retraining plan for a worker must be completed and submitted to the department within 90 days of the day the worker commences vocational plan development. The department may extend the 90 days for good cause.

Beginning in December, there will be changes to the format for the Good Cause Extension request via EVOC. The current format has a free-text field labeled Message. The label of this field will change to: What is the plan goal? In addition, there will be three additional free-text fields with the following labels:

  1. What are the specific barriers preventing submission of the plan?
  2. What has been done to address these barriers?
  3. How many additional days are needed and why?

All four free-text fields will be required fields. These new fields will more clearly define the information the VRC must present when requesting an extension. This information will help the VSS to more thoroughly evaluate the request and to determine an appropriate length for the extension. The information will also help the department better understand and address the root causes for delays.

Come and work for L&I!

November 21, 2014

Looking for great work/life balance and the opportunity to make a real difference in the vocational outcomes of injured workers? Come work for the Vocational Dispute Resolution Office at the Department of Labor and Industries. We have 2 job openings in a unit that emphasizes collaboration with other vocational staff, both inside and outside of the department, and we'd love a chance to meet you to discuss this exciting opportunity. Vocational Services Specialists in the Vocational Dispute Resolution office which supports the Director.

Help us to improve your online communications with L&I

November 12, 2014

From online mail delivery to sending documents to L&I electronically, were exploring ways to help you reduce paper and complete your tasks any time of the day from any device.

Help improve online communications with L&I by taking this 7 minute survey.

The October 2014 L&I fall vocational conference presentations and handouts are now available

October 10, 2014

The PowerPoint presentations and handouts from the L&I fall vocational conference "Disability Prevention and Return to Work" held on October 29, 2014, in the Tumwater L&I auditorium are now available. View the following PowerPoint presentations and handouts:

Video interpretive services will be available starting November 1, 2014

October 10, 2014

Video interpretive services will be available starting November 1, 2014. Vocational and health care providers can use video interpretive services for direct contact (face-to-face) with state fund workers or crime victims.

Video interpreting is convenient to use and easier to arrange than an in-person interpreter. The benefits of video interpretation include:

  • It saves time
  • Its easy to use
  • You can see facial expressions and body language
  • Real-time access to up to 13 languages including American Sign Language (ASL)
  • No scheduled appointment is necessary
  • Interpreters are available in seconds
  • Vendors bill L&I

You can choose from three approved vendors:

Providers are responsible for making arrangements for the equipment or software needed to access services. You can contact the vendor for assistance. Additional information is available here. If you have questions, contact Cecilia Maskell at 360-902-5161 or mili235@lni.wa.gov.

Revised Job Analysis (JA) Summary

October 10, 2014

There is a revised Coversheet for JAs based on input from VTSG and an L&I workgroup. The changes include some cosmetic changes recommended at VTSG. The coversheet is intended as a front page for all JAs that are submitted for provider review, whether you use the JA form on our website or your own version.

VRCs are urged to use the coversheet when submitting JAs to all healthcare providers, including IMEs and PCEs. With your help, this effort will support Agency Goal #2: Helping injured workers heal and return to work.

Private Schools

August 29, 2014

We have recently identified problematic issues with some private schools. The issues include, but are not limited to, charging injured workers at a higher rate than the general public for the same program(s), charging for identifying internship as part of a program but not explaining where or to what end, charging injured workers unrealistically high tuition and fees for short term training.

L&I relies on vocational counselors to identify and address potentially problematic issues before writing a plan. If a plan is submitted, problematic issues need to be specifically addressed. Any questions on this topic can be addressed to the VSS supervisors.

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