WSR 09-21-101

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

LABOR AND INDUSTRIES

[ Filed October 20, 2009, 4:40 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 09-17-120.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 296-17-871 Director's discretion for incurred losses on claims with vocational plans.

Hearing Location(s): Tumwater L&I Building, 7273 Linderson Way S.W., Tumwater, WA 98501, on January 26, 2010, at 11:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: March 1, 2010.

Submit Written Comments to: Ronald Moore, P.O. Box 44140, Olympia, WA 98501, e-mail MOOA235@lni.wa.gov, fax (360) 902-4729, by 5 p.m., January 26, 2010.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact office of information and assistance by January 23, 2009 [2010], TTY (360) 902-5797.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: RCW 51.32.0991 provides for a reduction in incurred losses, at the director's discretion, if a worker with a vocational plan had a prior vocational plan approved in 2008, or later, and the worker was performing in medically restricted activities when injured. The statute expires June 30, 2013. The proposed rule is meant to clarify when the director's discretion can no longer be granted based on the sunset language of the statute and how it is applied to an accident year's incurred losses for experience rating purposes.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: This rule making is being proposed to maintain consistency in the application of the law and provide accuracy and integrity to experience and retrospective rating.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 51.16.035 and 51.16.100.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 51.16.035 and 51.16.100.

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: Richard Bredeson, Tumwater, Washington, (360) 902-4985; Implementation: Ronald C. Moore, Tumwater, Washington, (360) 902-4748; and Enforcement: Robert Malooly, Tumwater, Washington, (360) 902-4209.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. In this case the agency is exempt from conducting a small business economic impact statement since the proposed rules set or adjust fees or rates to legislative standards described in RCW 34.05.310 (4)(f) and because the content of the rules is specifically dictated by statute described in RCW 34.05.310 (4)(e).

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. Preparation of a small business economic impact statement and the evaluation of probable costs is required when a rule proposal has the potential of placing a more than minor economic impact on business. There are no significant costs as part of this rule making.

October 20, 2009

Judy Schurke

Director

OTS-2701.1


NEW SECTION
WAC 296-17-871   Director's discretion for incurred losses on claims with vocational plans.   The incurred losses charged to an employer's experience rating can be reduced, at the director's discretion, for the vocational costs paid under RCW 51.32.099 (3)(d) for retraining and time-loss benefits paid for the retraining period. The director can reduce the incurred losses when:

The worker had a vocational plan approved after December 31, 2007, on a previous Washington state industrial insurance claim; and

The injury or occupational disease for the present claim resulted from employment and work-related activities beyond the worker's documented restrictions from the earlier claim.

The director's decision was made on or before June 30, 2013.

When a claim's incurred losses are reduced by this section, the reduced losses will be used for experience rating and retrospective rating calculations.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office