LABOR AND INDUSTRIES
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 08-09-117.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Chapter 296-19A WAC, Option 2 benefits.
Hearing Location(s): Department of Labor and Industries, Tukwila Office Training Room, 12806 Gateway Drive, Tukwila, WA 98168-3311, on October 6, 2009, at 1:00 p.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: December 1, 2009.
Submit Written Comments to: Nancy James, P.O. Box 44208, Olympia, WA 98504-4208, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org [email@example.com], fax (360) 902-4960, by October 20, 2009.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Nancy James by September 22, 2009, TTY (360) 902-5787 or (360) 902-5005.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The proposed rules are necessary for the implementation of chapter 72, Laws of 2007 (ESSB 5920).
WAC 296-19A-600 How does an eligible injured worker elect vocational Option 2 benefits?
|•||Explains when the worker must choose Option 2 benefits if electing Option 2 benefits.|
|•||Explains that the worker's claim will be closed when electing Option 2 benefits and the worker will receive the Option 2 award and access to Option 2 training funds.|
|•||Explains how the Option 2 award is calculated.|
|•||Explains the method of payment of the Option 2 award to the worker.|
|•||Clarifies adjustments and deductions that can and cannot be made.|
|•||Explains when training funds are available to the worker and for what period.|
|•||Clarifies what training programs Option 2 funds can be used.|
|•||Explains basis for annual adjustment for available training funds.|
|•||Explains that workers are notified by department order of training funds available and how they can access their current balance.|
|•||Explains time frame for changing election options.|
|•||Specifies what costs training funds cannot be used for.|
|•||Explains that the worker will not receive the option 2 award while incarcerated under sentence and when the department or self-insured employer will resume payment.|
|•||Explains that Option 2 training funds are available while a worker is incarcerated under sentence upon application to the department of self-insurer.|
|•||Explains that the award is not payable to the worker's beneficiaries or estate.|
Reasons Supporting Proposal: This proposed rule making will include new rules to clarify the process and requirements for making application for Option 2 vocational benefits, and define which vocational costs require department or self-insurer approval and the vocational costs that can and cannot be paid.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 51.04.020, 51.04.030, 51.32.095, 51.32.099 and 51.32.0991 (chapter 72, Laws of 2007, ESSB 5920).
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 51.32.095, 51.32.099 and 51.32.0991 (chapter 72, Laws of 2007, ESSB 5920).
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Department of labor and industries, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Brenda Heilman, Tumwater, (360) 902-6313, Implementation: Cheri Ward (state fund) and AnnaLisa Gellerman (self-insurance), Tumwater, (360) 902-6313; and Enforcement: Robert Malooly, Tumwater, (360) 902-4209.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule making is exempt under RCW 19.85.025(3), referring to RCW 34.05.310(4), namely RCW 34.05.310 (4)(c) because the rule making adopts and incorporates without material change ESSB 5920, chapter 72, Laws of 2007.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. This rule making is exempt under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(iii) because it adopts and incorporates without material change ESSB 5920, chapter 72, Laws of 2007.
September 1, 2009
OPTION 2 BENEFITS
WAC 296-19A-600 How does an eligible injured worker elect vocational Option 2 benefits? Within fifteen days of the approval of a retraining plan by the department, the worker submits to the department or self-insurer the Retraining Plan Option Form indicating they select Option 2 and choose not to participate in their retraining plan. This election means the worker's compensation claim will be closed, and the worker will receive the vocational Option 2 award and access to the Option 2 training funds.
The amount of training funds available is adjusted effective July 1st of each year, based on the average percentage change in tuition for the next fall quarter for all Washington state community colleges. Eligible workers are notified of the amount available to them by department order issued at the time of their Option 2 election. They can also view the current balance of funds through the department's on-line claim and account center.