The Washington Department of Labor and Industries has the Stay at Work Program to help employers with the cost of accommodating injured workers while they are performing a Link-Job.

If the employer is substantially modifying the worker’s regular job, or offering the worker a new job, the employer of injury may also be eligible for the Preferred Worker Program, which provides premium relief and protection against rate increases.

Wage Reimbursement from L&I During the Link-Job:

Washington has employer wage reimbursement benefits of up to $10,000 available per claim, for partial wage reimbursement, while the worker is performing a medically approved Link-Job.

For more information on how to use the benefits of the Washington Stay at Work Program and the needed reimbursement forms, click here.

Job-Site Modification brings tasks within injury caused limitations:

Many tools or pieces of equipment can qualify under either Job-site Modification or Tools and Equipment, but there are some specific differences. Here is a brief overview of job-site modification:

  •  A job-site modification, is used specifically to bring the physical demands of the task within the worker’s medically designated physical limitations from the accepted on the job injury condition(s).
  • There is up to $5,000 available for job-site modification per accepted qualifying claim.
  • It may be used for the job of injury, a new permanent job or a temporary Link-Job.
  • The job-site modification benefit can only be used for a compensable claim (one with time loss paid after 3 days of not working), or would have been compensable, but the worker was kept on salary or placed directly into a Link-Job within three days of the injury occuring.
  • The purchase must be pre-approved and may be made by the employer and reimbursed, or may be paid for directly by the Deptartment of Labor and Industries (L&I).
  • If the purchase is made by the Department, an L&I contracted vendor must be used.
  • L&I may also pay for a consultant (L&I insured employers only) to assist with determining the best job-site modification for the worker and completing the paperwork.
  • A job-site modification may become either the worker’s property (usually the case with chairs) or the employer’s, such as something that is affixed to the employer’s property, like a new seat on the forklift.
  • Here are lists of LNI contracted vendors, jobsite modification consultants and which program your purchase falls under.
  • For more information about getting help with your job-site modification from L&I, click here.

Tools, Equipment and Clothes Needed to Do the Link-Job:

  • A computer may be “equipment”, reimbursable under the SAW Program if it is used to create a Link-Job for the injured worker and the employer does not have a computer available to use
  • Height adjustable workstation: create a sitting – standing workstation
  • Adjustable office chair if there is none for the workstation. (Adjustable, so it will fit the next injured worker too; an ergonomic chair fit specifically to the injured worker is a job-site modification.)
  • Tools such as a torque multiplier wrench, any power tool
  • Any tool to do a job, like the hose rewinder or garden seat, even the ATV recommended in the Plant Nursery SWS.
  • Any equipment needed to create a workstation that is needed for the Link-Job. In this case the workstation just needs to be a place to do the job, not specific to the injured worker’s physical limitations
  • Any supplies specifically for the Link-Job, like a clip board, safety glasses, rubber boots, that are not normally supplied by the employer
  • The tools or equipment may be used by any employee after the injured worker returns to his/her regular job
  • There is up to $400 available for clothing needed to do the job that is not normally provided by the employer
  • For more information click here.

Brief Training Needed to Do the Link-Job:

  • Washington employers can get reimbursed up to $1,000 per claim, for the cost of short term training, as long as the training is needed to do the Link-Job.
  • L&I cannot reimburse the employer for doing the training. For more information regarding training, click here.

The Preferred Worker Program for permanently modified or new jobs:

  • If the injured worker is not able to return to the job of injury, and has permanent restrictions from the accepted claim that caused the injury, the worker may be eligible for the Preferred Worker Program.
  • Washington employers may now hire back their own injured workers into a new medically approved permanent job, or a permanently modified version of the job of injury, using the financial incentives under the Preferred Worker Program.
  • Employers receive financial protection against any costs of subsequent claims for 36 months and the claim does not affect the employer’s experience rating.
  • For State Fund employers, you don’t pay accident fund or medical aid fund on the preferred worker.
  • For more information, click here.