The vocational provider arranges interpretation services for a worker if they determine the worker needs communication assistance. L&I pays for interpreter services—and no prior authorization is required.

What are the vocational provider’s responsibilities when a worker’s English is limited?

  • Determine whether the worker needs an interpreter.
  • Arrange for an interpreter, if needed.
    • Example: If a meeting is at a physical therapist's office and the worker needs an interpreter, you should let the office know. Each provider is responsible for arranging services.
  • For paid interpreters, you or your staff arrange interpreters through L&I's interpreter scheduling system, interpretingWorks.
  • Note in your progress reports that you used an interpreter at the appointment.

Note: Payment is made only for interpreters arranged through the scheduling system.

How do I learn how to arrange for a spoken language interpreter?

Visit L&I’s main Interpreter Services web page to learn about how to:

  • Register to use the scheduling system.
  • Arrange for a spoken language interpreter through the scheduling system.

How does interpretation differ from translation?

  • Interpretation services convey oral communications. L&I or the self-insured employer pays for oral interpretation services during a vocational referral for interpreters arranged through the scheduling system.
  • Translation deals with written communications. Document translation services require prior authorization and must be requested by the insurer.

What about telephone interpretation?

  • For all L&I-insured claims, you can use an over-the-phone interpreter when speaking with workers. Benefits include:
    • Real-time access to over 300 languages.
    • No appointment needed.
    • Quick access: In most cases, a telephonic interpreter can be on the phone within 30-60 seconds.
  • You can use over-the-phone interpreters for both in-state and out-of-state workers.
  • In-person contact is still preferred for vocational services. However, sometimes it makes more sense to use over-the-phone interpretation: for unusual languages or in remote areas, or when rescheduling a meeting or sharing time-sensitive information.

How can you access telephone interpretation services?

On claims covered by L&I, you can request over-the-phone interpretation services by calling:

CTS Language Link

  1. Dial 1-844-303-7212
  2. Tell CTS Language Link you need help with an L&I claim and give them:
    • Vocational provider name
    • Vocational firm name
    • Claim number
    • Worker’s name
    • Language needed