What's New for Vocational Counselors

The latest news

The current maximum vocational training benefit level will remain the same for July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015.

April 17, 2014.

The current maximum training benefit of $17,599.11 will remain in place until June 30, 2015 and will apply to any plan approved on or after July 1, 2014. This applies to Option 1 and Option 2 plans. This is based upon the fact that community and technical college tuition is frozen for the second consecutive academic year. The annual adjustment required by RCW 51.32.099 is based on any adjustment made to community and technical college tuition.

Cost of Living Adjustment.

April 17, 2014.

Effective July 1, 2014 there will be a 1.7% increase in the hourly rate payable to vocational providers. The referral fee caps will be adjusted accordingly. Medical providers will also receive a 1.7% cost of living adjustment.

L&I Spring Vocational Conference is set for May 2nd 2014.

March 31, 2014.

The L&I spring vocational conference will be held on May 2nd in the Tumwater L&I auditorium.

The theme for the conference is “Helping Workers Heal and Return to Work”.

There are 6 CEUs pending through CRCC and CDMSC. To learn more about the conference read the agenda.

Deadline for registration is Friday, April 30th.

The conference is free for all registered attendees. Seating is limited and priority will be given to vocational counselors and L&I return to work staff. Submit completed Online Registration by Wednesday, April 30, 2014.

Driving Directions

The L&I building is located off I-5 at exit 101. See www.Lni.wa.gov under Contact Info.


Free parking is available in L&I’s visitors’ parking lot outside the main entrance.

Overflow parking will be available in the Southwest employee parking lot.

Parking is limited, so we recommend carpooling to the conference.

Questions about the conference?

Contact Keith Klinger, Conference Planner, at Keith.Klinger@lni.wa.gov or 360.902.6362.

Changes to Vocational Profile.

March 25, 2014.

The following changes were implemented on March 22, 2014:

  • Vocational disputes will be re-labeled “Dispute Results” and will be displayed as a decile.
  • Complaints will no longer be displayed at the main view. Complaint information can still be found on the individual drill down.
  • The calculation for timeliness of progress reports will change. The sample period will be six months instead of 12 months. Also, the percentage of all scores will be increased by 1% to mitigate identified rounding issues.
  • The display will show a VRC only once in a service location with the ability to drill down to specific branch information.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the CAC display will continue to use the 12 month sample period for “Timeliness of Progress Reports.” This programming omission will be corrected in June 2014.

L&I wishes to thank and recognize the Implementation Advisory Group for their assistance in identifying these improvements

New Job Analysis (JA) Summary.

March 6, 2014.

There is a new Coversheet for JAs. Vocational and claims staff on the AWA Duration team worked together to design the new coversheet. The team tested the use of a summary sheet with 174 job analyses and found the median time to get a JA back from the medical provider was only 7 days!

The new form was shared with the Vocational Technical Stakeholders Group (VTSG) who provided input. Physicians were also asked to provide input. They liked that the physical demands on the JA Summary mirrored the familiar APF. The physicians were also excited that the coversheet allowed them to see the physical demands of a job at a glance.

Note that when using the summary, the physician’s signature is now on the front page of the JA. The summary 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.

Given the outstanding results of the initial test and positive endorsements by several stakeholder groups, VRCs are urged to use the coversheet when submitting JAs to all medical providers, including IMEs and PCEs. With your help, this effort will support Agency Goal #2: Helping injured workers heal and return to work.

Washington State Library offers free Microsoft Academy e-Learning.

February 14, 2014.

Injured workers throughout Washington have a unique opportunity to improve their computer skills. Learn more about the Microsoft IT Academy by reading the flyer.

You can access to this resource through the Washington State Library by reading the instructions.

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