Become an Interpreter
To interpret for injured workers and/or crime victims you must be certified, provide a copy of your credentials, and apply for an L&I provider account. You also must maintain your credentials and notify L&I or self-insurer(s) of any changes.
Per RCW 39.26.300, L&I must purchase in-person spoken language interpreter services directly from language access providers, or through limited contracts with scheduling and coordinating delivery organizations, or both. Interpreters may sign up for the scheduling system, or they may provide on-demand interpretation. On-demand interpreters are required to have an individual L&I provider ID, using the application below. An L&I provider ID isn't required for scheduling system interpretation. L&I no longer accepts interpreter agency applications as of May 15, 2021.
To interpret for injured workers and/or crime victims, you must:
- Complete the Submission of Provider Credentials for Interpretive Services form (F245-055-000) to obtain your L&I provider account number for billing and payment.
- Provide a copy of your credentials.
- Submit the completed L&I forms with copies of your credentials to:
Provider Accounts and Credentialing
PO Box 44261
Olympia, WA 98504-4261
Interpreters are responsible for maintaining their credentials as required by the credentialing agency or organization. Should the interpreter's credentials expire or be removed for cause or any other reason, the interpreter must immediately notify L&I or self-insurer(s).
Changes to your status or other account information
To prevent payment delays, you must notify us of any changes to your address, or business status. To make changes, visit: Change Your Provider Account.
L&I Administrative Policy
For billing questions, contact the Provider Hotline at 800-848-0811.
Credentials L&I accepts
Interpreters and translators are required to have at least 1 credential in good standing (not revoked) from one or more of the agencies or organizations listed in Chapter 14: Language Access Services of our payment policies. Interpreters must have either a Department of Social and Health Services Certification, Washington Association of the courts Certification, or a nationally recognized certificate.
Interpreters for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Sign interpreters are required to have certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). L&I accepts the Provisional Deaf Interpreter Credential (PDIC). Interpreters who hold this credential must submit either the National Interpreter Certification or the Certified Deaf Interpreter certification from RID following the expiration of the PDIC.
Credentials from other organizations or states
Interpreters located outside of Washington state must submit credentials from their state Medicaid program, state or national court systems, or other nationally recognized programs. For interpreters from any geographic area, credentials submitted from agencies or organizations other than those listed in the payment policy, may be accepted if the testing criteria can be verified as meeting the minimum standards listed below. Testing must be administered by a third-party organization whose business is to conduct certification for interpreters (i.e., interpreter agency owners may not test their own interpreters).
L&I reserves the right to review all testing and decline certification if the certificate doesn't meet the minimum criteria.
Out of state interpreter test consists of, at minimum:
- A written test in English; and
- A verbal test of sight translation in both English, and other tested language(s); and
- A verbal test of consecutive interpretation in both languages.
- For those providing services in a legal setting, a verbal test of simultaneous interpretation in both languages
Interpreter agency owners may not test their own interpreters.
Obtaining Credentials for Interpreters
The following agencies and organizations offer certification or qualification testing. This list is neither comprehensive nor an endorsement of any of these agencies or organizations. It is provided for information purposes only.
Agency or organization
- WA State Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC)
- WA State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)
- Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters
- The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters
- Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
- US Court System
- US Department of State
- American Translators Association
- National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators