What's New for Vocational Counselors

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Email VocRehabProgram@Lni.wa.gov to request archived What's New postings.


Billing problem alert

February 21, 2019

We just learned that our system pays at the 2018 rate when a bill is submitted that includes both 2018 and 2019 service dates.

To fix bills we've already paid, please submit adjustments to separate your 2018 dates of service from your 2019 dates of service. Do not submit the bill again, only the adjustment.

For all future billings, please submit bills for any 2018 dates of service separately; this will ensure you receive the correct rate for 2019 dates of service.

We apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for your patience.


Registration now open for Washington State IARP Conference May 16-17

February 21, 2019

The 2019 Washington IARP Conference will take place at the Emerald Queen Casino conference center, which is separate from the main casino and is smoke free. You will earn 15 CEUs if you attend both days of the conference. IARP members can get the early bird registration cost for both days for only $120 (same rate as 2018). Early bird registration ends on April 14, 2019.

You can learn more about the conference, download the agenda, and register at the IARP website.


Update on pre-job accommodation and job modification codes

February 13, 2019

Beginning Feb. 20, 2019, our system will automatically load the pre-job accommodation and job modification codes (0823V, 0824V) for all these referral types:

  • Ability to Work Assessment (AWA)
  • Plan Development (PD)
  • Plan Implementation (PI)

This update only applies to referrals created on or after Feb. 20, 2019. If you received a referral for AWA, PD, or PI before that date and you want to do a pre-job accommodation or job modification, you will need to call us so we can load the codes for you.


AWA referral text is changing

January 8, 2019

We've removed the standard language on AWA referrals. Claim managers can now use free text to give VRCs information specific to the claim.


New travel mileage rate effective January 1, 2019

January 8, 2019

Effective January 1, 2019, the personal vehicle mileage rate is $.58 per mile. The rate in 2018 was $.55 per mile.


How to request ADMX for all referral types

January 2, 2019

Beginning January 1, 2019, a VRC can submit a request for ADMX via EVOC for the following referral types:

  • Vocational Recovery (EI)
  • Ability to Work Assessment (AWA)
  • Plan Development (PD)
  • Plan Implementation (PI)

Once the EVOC is granted, VRCs don't need to submit EVOC updates on the ADMX. However, it is critical that L&I and the vocational community strengthen their efforts to identify and resolve barriers as soon as they appear. Therefore, as soon as a VRC identifies barriers, they should promptly submit an EVOC so they can collaborate with their VSS on how to overcome them. 

Note: Because the original fee caps for vocational referrals have increased, make sure you have exhausted the funding in the original fee cap before requesting ADMX.


Payment policy update

December 27, 2018

We are adopting the changes to the payment model for vocational services on January 1, 2019, as proposed. To everyone who gave us feedback, thank you; we will send you a response in early January.


Help identify and address psychosocial barriers

December 18, 2018

The first document below summarizes the actions we encourage vocational rehabilitation counselors (VRCs) to take to address psychosocial barriers they observe with workers.

The second document contains internal claims training content (originally shared at the L&I fall voc conference). This describes in-depth guidance given to claim managers who are talking to workers, providers, and employers. It also describes psychosocial interventions in detail and gives answers to some frequently asked questions. 

Questions? Please write to VocRecoveryProject@Lni.wa.gov


Proposed payment model clarifications

December 6, 2018

Our message on November 30, 2018, announced proposed payment modernizations effective January 1, 2019. We want to clarify that:

  • The fee cap increases will apply to all open referrals.
  • The proposal allows a vocational provider to bill professional time for a 30-day progress report up to a cap of $50 per report.

How to submit comments

If you have comments or questions about any of the payment modernizations L&I is proposing, please send them to the Vocational Recovery Project at vocrecoveryproject@lni.wa.gov.


L&I proposes changes in payment model for vocational services

November 30, 2018

L&I is modernizing certain payment policies to encourage the provision of worker-centric services envisioned under the Vocational Recovery Project. These changes follow several years when the hourly rates for vocational services did not increase.

Effective for services provided on or after January 1, 2019, payment policies will change in 5 areas, as summarized below.

  1. Professional rate: Increases the rate 4% for VRCs and interns
  2. Travel: Changes the starting point of the trip to the vocational provider’s primary branch office instead of the office where the referral was made. L&I staff will be working with firms to confirm the primary branch offices for their vocational providers. In many cases, the primary branch office will be the firm’s office located closest to a provider’s home. 
  3. Fee caps:
    1. Increases the fee cap for AWA to $6,760. This change is based on the experience of the ADMX pilot of the past few years. (All other fee caps increase 4%, consistent with the change in the professional rate.)
    2. With the exceptions of forensic referrals and stand-alone job analyses, the ADMX process applies to all other referral types.
  4. Job Modification and Pre-Job Accommodation: Clarifies and expands activities covered under consultation services 0823V/0824V. This includes exploring any type of modification and discussing L&I’s Stay at Work and Preferred Worker return-to-work incentive programs. 
  5. Progress reports: Limits billing for progress reports to $50 per 30-day report.
For additional details, you can review the updates to Chapter 30 Vocational Services on L&I’s 2018 MARFS Updates and Corrections webpage.

Self-employed workers and preferred worker benefits

November 26, 2018

In light of questions raised at the Fall Vocational Conference, there may be some confusion about self-employed workers eligibility for preferred worker benefits. Please note the following clarification.

Washington State law RCW 51.32.095(4) excludes self-employed workers from receiving preferred worker benefits. This means that:

  • Self-employed workers cannot be certified as preferred workers.
  • The Preferred Worker Program cannot pay employer incentives based on self-employed work.

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