Master Builder

September 2016

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Preferred Worker Program: What, Who and How BY MARIE VARTANIAN, CDMS APPROACH MANAGEMENT SERVICES *See for additional details. **The fi nal determination will be made by L&I's credentialed vocational rehabilitation professional. Q: WHO CAN ACCESS THESE INCENTIVES? A: The expanded PWP incentives are available to an eligible employer who has hired a worker certifi ed as a Preferred Worker on or after January 1, 2016. Q: WHO QUALIFIES AS A PREFERRED WORKER? A: A worker may be certifi ed as a "Preferred Worker" in the sole discretion of the supervisor or supervisor's designee, if he or she has an open state-fund-insured claim for an industrial injury or occupational disease that results in a permanent disability* that may be a substantial obstacle to employment. Q: WHAT ARE THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE NEW JOB FOR AN EMPLOYER TO QUALIFY? ** A: The job must: • Continue to be available into the foreseeable future • Not be the job of injury • Be confi rmed as consistent with the PWP permanent work restrictions • Address a business need or provide economic value to the employer Q: HOW DOES THE EMPLOYER OF INJURY BENEFIT FROM THE PROGRAM? A: The Employer of Injury: • Requests approval of hiring employer's preferred worker job • Continuous Employment Incentive, up to $10,000 value** • Stay At Work Type benefi ts after Permanent Job Off er accepted by the Preferred Worker • Reimbursement of 50% of wages for up to 66 work days • Reimbursement for equipment ($2,500) and clothing ($400) • Continuous Employment Incentive* • Will not have the cost of any new claim fi led by that Preferred Worker charged to their experience rating or retro group for three years • Receives reimbursement from the second injury fund for all benefi ts paid on any new claim fi led by that Preferred Worker during the certifi cation period Here are some of the program FAQs, as dictated by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. Picture this: a worker under your supervision has been permanently injured, and cannot return to his or her previous duties. What do you do? With the Preferred Worker Program, you welcome them to come back to work in a more manageable role. Wondering why you are just now learning about this incredibly helpful program? The Preferred Worker Program (PWP) was recently revamped to better accommodate those who need it the most. Previously, the 25-year-old program was rarely used because it did not apply to re-employment of a disabled injured worker with the employer of injury. This barrier has been eliminated, meaning that employers can now bring back their injured workers under the program. This helps keep injured workers working while protecting the employer with a three-year risk-free period should the employee have a new injury. Sounds like a win-win, right? It is, and that's why both employers and employees should know about it. 27 09.16 master builder memBersHiP vaLue

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