Preferred Worker Program
The Preferred Worker Program is available for qualified State Fund or self-insured employers who hire a certified preferred worker for a job that that meets the injured worker’s restrictions. The benefits may include:
- Reimbursement of 50% of base wages for up to 66 working days or up to $10,000
- Up to $2,500 for tools and equipment
- Up to $400 for worker clothing
A worker may be certified as "preferred worker” if he/she has an open claim for an industrial injury or occupational disease that results in a permanent disability that may be a substantial obstacle to employment.
If an injured worker qualifies for Preferred Worker Status (PWS), the Vocational Counselor may complete and submit a Preferred Worker Status application. The Preferred Worker Program has been recently expanded as of 01/01/2016.
For more information click here.
Please note the employer will not be eligible for Preferred Worker incentives if the job offered is:
- The job of injury with minor or no modifications
- Work that is beyond the worker's medical restrictions
- Work that requires training beyond the usual and customary training provided by the employer to similar employees
- On-the-job training
The employer will not receive any preferred worker benefits until all required documentation is received by the Department of Labor and Industries. Please ensure you have submitted the following to the Department:
- A copy of the completed job analysis or L&I's job description form, approved by the worker's health care provider
- The job offer, signed by the worker
- L&I's Preferred Worker Request form, available here, completed and signed by the employer
Stay at Work Program
The Stay at Work Program is a program aimed at encouraging employers to bring back injured workers to work in light duty or transitional positions. The Department of Labor & Industries offers some financial incentives for the employer:
- Wage Reimbursement - Eligible employers may be reimbursed for 50% of the base wages they pay to the injured worker
- Expense Reimbursement - Eligible employers may be reimbursed for some of the cost of training, tools or clothing the worker needs to do the light-duty or transitional work
To find out more about eligibility and requirements, click here