As a worker, you may be eligible if:

  • You have an open State Fund claim with us,
  • Your workplace injury or illness resulted in a permanent loss of physical or mental function which may be a substantial barrier to employment, and from which further medical improvement is not expected, and
  • Your medical provider permanently restricted you from returning to your job of injury based on medical findings.

With the Preferred Work Program, employers may be eligible for incentives when they hire an preferred worker.

Get preferred worker status

You or anyone directly involved with your claim may submit a Preferred Worker Request (F280-060-000).

While not required, a vocational provider is a valuable resource for return-to-work opportunities. Workers and employers can benefit from this expertise. If you are not working with a vocational provider, ask your Claim Manager or contact the Preferred Worker Program at 800-845-2634 or email PrefWorkerProg@Lni.wa.gov.

Preferred worker certification period

The certification period begins your first workday after we receive all required paperwork from the first employer who hires you as a preferred worker. It ends after 36 consecutive months or 5 years after your claim closure, whichever comes first.

Preferred Worker Certification Period Timeline Graphic

For example, if a certification happens 1 year after claim closure, the certification period ends in 36 months. If the certification begins 3.5 years after claim closure, the certification period is only 18 months, up until the 5-year deadline.