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.
  • You may also access telephonic interpretation services for international calls. Please have the worker on the line and then call CTS Language Link to connect with an interpreter as CTS Language Link Customer Service Representatives and interpreters are unable to perform international dial outs.
  • 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