Human Resource Services
Search

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Overview
Report a workplace injury or illness
How to File a Claim
How Workers’ Compensation Affects You
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Volunteers
Return to Work Program
Frequently Asked Questions
Resources


Overview

Washington State University strives to provide safe and healthful working conditions in all operations, following applicable laws and regulations associated with the valued safety and health of our employees. Each University staff and faculty member is responsible for following University safety regulations as documented in University Safety Policies And Procedures Manual. If however, an employee or volunteer believes they have suffered a work-related injury or illness, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.  Washington State University workers’ compensation program is insured through the State of Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). Human Resource Services- Disability Services is available to:

  • Assist employees and supervisors with the incident reporting and workers’ compensation claims processes
  • Coordinate and process claim related documents and information
  • Coordinate claims and return to work processes with the employee, University, L&I, health care providers, vocational counselors and other entities
  • Work with University departments and L&I to manage claims and associated costs
  • Answer questions and provide workers’ compensation resources

[Return to Top]


Report a workplace injury or illness

Report all workplace injuries to your Supervisor immediately and seek medical treatment if needed. Timing is everything: WSU policy requires that all (major and minor) injuries be reported within twenty-four hours. Prompt reporting eliminates delays in benefits to employees.  For injuries that occur over the weekend or after regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm), reports should be completed and sent to our office the next regular working day after the accident.  Major incidents resulting in serious injury (e.g. fracture or amputation), in patient hospitalization or death are to be reported immediately. (See SPPM 2.24.1

Reportable incidents consist of:

Injury: Any wound or damage to the body resulting from an instantaneous event. Examples include; cuts, bruises, contusions, chipped teeth, amputations, insect bites, electrocutions, burns sprains, and sprain injuries to muscles, joints, and connective tissues resulting from a slip, trip, or fall.

Illness: A condition resulting from chronic exposure to the work and/or academic environment.  Examples include: musculoskeletal disorders (e.g. tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome), skin disorders, respiratory conditions, and noise-induced hearing loss

Supervisor completes:

  1. Online Incident Report

AND IF

  • The employee receives medical treatment.
  • The employee is unable to work the next full or subsequent shift(s) as a result of the injury or illness
  • Events and conditions involving a near miss or minor accident indicate that most likely injury or illness would have been serious.

2. Supervisor’s Accident Investigation Report

Employee/Witness completes:

  1. Witness/Injured Person Statement (optional)

[Return to Top]


How to File a Claim

An employee or volunteer who believes they have suffered an on the job illness or injury may file a claim with Washington State Labor & Industries.

Claims may be filed in the following ways:

  • Individual and medical provider complete a Report of Industrial or Occupational Disease at the time of treatment
  • Online directly with L&I
  • By calling L&I at 1-877-561-FILE

Once the individual files a claim they are provided a claim number.  A claim number is generally two letters followed by five numbers.  In order for WSU to submit the necessary employer information to L&I it is necessary that the injured individual provide their claim number to HRS.

In the event an injured worker misses time from work due to their injury or occupational injury, they must obtain a health care provider’s written approval before they are to return to work.  Their health care provider should complete an Activity Prescription Form and return the completed form to HRS.

[Return to Top]


How Workers’ Compensation Affects You

Employee
Supervisor or Department

Employee

Workers’ Compensation is insurance for covered workers whose injuries or illnesses arose out of and in the course of employment. It provides medical benefits and possible wage replacement to an injured worker.  Injured workers are responsible for the following:

  • Seek medical treatment if needed.  You will need to inform the medical provider that your injury/illness is work related and complete the L &I Report of Accident form.
  • All work related injuries or occupational illnesses must be reported immediately to your supervisor for recording purposes, whether or not medical attention is needed or if a workers’ compensation claim is filed.
  • The employee will assist the supervisor in completing the WSU Online Incident Report as soon as possible following an accident/illness.
  • Employees must provide a note from the physician to HRS specifying the return to work status and restrictions, if any.
  • Employees are expected to fully participate and cooperate in the process of identifying and/or developing appropriate return to work options that are considered to be medically suitable by the employee’s attending doctor.
  • Read each notice from Labor & Industries (L&I) carefully.  If there is any statement in notices received from L&I which you believe is incorrect, it is your responsibility to contact L&I.
  • Notify HRS immediately if you miss more than three days of work due to your injury/illness.

Supervisor or Department

When an employee in your department is injured on the job, you are responsible for the following :

  • Make sure the injured employee is provided first aid and/or seeks medical treatment, if needed. Remind the employee to notify the medical provider that the visit is work related.
  • Find out what happened. Thoroughly investigate the incident by taking statements from the injured worker and any witness to find out how the accident occurred. Follow up to make sure the unsafe conditions are corrected to prevent future occurrences. If an injury seems questionable, call HRS at 509-335-4521 for further instructions.
  • Supervisors must report near misses, incidents not resulting in injury, and incidents resulting in injury/illness whether or not a worker compensation claim is filed, by completing the required WSU Online Incident Report.
  • Make sure that the proper forms reach our office timely. The WSU Online Incident Report must be completed within 24 hours of the incident.  The Supervisor’s Accident Investigation Report (located on the Disability Services forms page) may also need to be completed if medical treatment was sought and/or the employee was unable to work the next full shift.
  • Supervisors will work collaboratively with the employee and HRS to identify and coordinate the details of the employee’s return to work based on the treating physician’s approval.  This must continue until such time that the employee is medically able to return to their job of injury and restored to regular duty as it was prior to the injury.

[Return to Top]


Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Medical Costs
Wage Replacement
Other Benefits

Medical Costs

Medical care costs are covered at 100%. There are some medical services that require pre-authorization from the Department of Labor and Industries. For a list of these services, contact your claims manager.

Wage Replacement

There is a three day waiting period between the date of injury and the time worker’s compensation wage replacement benefits begin, unless the employee is off for more than 14 days then benefits would start the day after the injury date. A physician must certify this time off. The employee can choose to use their paid leave during this period or use leave without pay. Employees who are out on workers compensation claims are not eligible to participate in the Shared Leave Program.

Wage replacement (time loss payment) is paid to the employee at a rate of 60-75% of their gross salary, and the benefit is tax-free. The percentage is based on the size of the employee’s family (single employee is compensated at 60%, with percentages added for each additional family member.)

Other Benefits

  • Assistance in return to work efforts
  • Permanent Partial Disability Awards are given to employees who have suffered a permanent reduction in their pre-injury physical capacity abilities
  • Pensions are awarded to employees who are permanently disabled due to their on-the-job injury or occupational illness
  • Survivor benefits are paid to surviving family in the event of a fatality due to a worker-related incident

[Return to Top]


Volunteers

Many individuals volunteer their time to assist WSU departments in the conduct of official University activities. In order to assure that volunteers are covered for liability and workers’ compensation, departments are to comply with the provisions found in the Business Policies and Procedures Manual 60.81.

NOTE: Workers’ Compensation for volunteers covers medical expenses but not wage replacement.

Departments must submit completed Volunteer Monthly Reports to HRS by the 15th of the following month in order to report volunteer hours. The Volunteer Monthly Report Form can be found on the Disability Services Forms page.

In order for a minor under the age of 18 to volunteer for University duties, a parent or legal guardian must complete and sign a Minor Volunteer Consent and Release form. The form provides permission for the minor to perform the volunteer work and provides authorization for the supervising adult to seek any necessary medical attention in the event of an injury or illness. The Minor Volunteer Consent and Release form may be found on the Disability Services Forms page.

[Return to Top]


Return to Work Program

Overview
Eligibility
Program Benefits

Overview

Washington State University’s Return to Work Program provides employees, who have either an occupational injury or illness and are unable to return to full regular duties immediately, with a safe, timely transition back to work with modified duties based on medical restrictions until medically released to full duties.

The program involves monitoring an injured employee’s progress and identifying temporary modified duties that are suited to physical capacity guidelines established by the designated physician or medical provider.

WSU’s Return to Work Program has been developed to:

  • Minimize the injury’s impact on the employee
  • Promote the employee’s rapid recovery from injuries/illness
  • Provide a safe and timely transition back to work
  • Maintain productivity in the workplace
  • Help minimize our Workers’ Compensation and Disability costs

Eligibility

  • The employee’s medical condition temporarily prevents him/her from performing full regular duties
  • The worker’s compensation or disability claim has been approved
  • The treating physician has:
    1. Certified that the employee has a temporary condition
    2. Determined the employee’s current physical capabilities
    3. Released the employee to participate in the Return to Work Program (see the  Activity Prescription Form located on the Disability Services Forms page)
    4. Estimated the recovery period

Program Benefits

Employees

  • Will recover more quickly
  • Will participate in some type of work activity as soon as he/she is medically able
  • Will experience a smoother transition back to regular duty
  • Will maintain self-esteem in spite of the medical condition
  • Will receive a regular paycheck
  • Will maintain relationships with co-workers and management

Departments

  • Will keep a trained and experienced worker on the job
  • Will reduce the costs associated with the loss of production and replacement of an employee
  • Will improve the overall work climate
  • Will promote employee morale
  • Will foster better communication with employees
  • Will reduce the potential for fraud and abuse

[Return to Top]


Frequently Asked Questions

1. I have been injured on the job, what do I do?

2. When do I file a WSU Online Incident Report?

3. When do I submit a Supervisors Investigation Report?

4. How do I file a claim with Washington State Labor & Industries?

5. Who makes the determination if my claim is approved?

6. What do I do if I have restrictions or miss time from work due to my injury?

7. How do I complete my time/leave report when I am off work due to my work related injury?

8. Can I have Shared Leave while I am off work for a work related injury?

9. Do I need a release from my health care provider before returning to work if I missed work due to my work related injury?


1. I have been injured on the job, what do I do?

If you have been injured on the job and are in need of immediate medical treatment call 911 or seek medical treatment. Notify your supervisor as soon as possible after the injury occurs.
[Back to FAQs]

2. When do I file a WSU Online Incident Report?

Timing is everything: WSU policy, SPPM 2.24.1, requires that all (major and minor) illnesses/injuries be reported within twenty-four (24) hours of the incident.

Per WSU policy, reportable incidents consist of:

Injury: Any wound or damage to the body resulting from an instantaneous event. Examples include; cuts, bruises, contusions, chipped teeth, amputations, insect bites, electrocutions, burns sprains, and sprain injuries to muscles, joints, and connective tissues resulting from a slip, trip, or fall.

Illness: A condition resulting from chronic exposure to the work and/or academic environment.  Examples include: musculoskeletal disorders (e.g. tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome), skin disorders, respiratory conditions, and noise-induced hearing loss.

[Back to FAQs]

3. When do I submit a Supervisors Investigation Report?

The Supervisors Investigation Report should be submitted if the employee receives medical treatment, if the employee is unable to work the next full or subsequent shift(s) as a result of an injury or illness, and/or if the events and conditions involving a near miss or minor accident indicate the most likely injury or illness would have been serious.

[Back to FAQs]

4. How do I file a claim with Washington State Labor & Industries?

You have up to one year from the date of injury or two years if an exposure. You can file a claim with Labor & Industries three different ways:

  • At your health care provider’s office you can complete a Report of Industrial Insurance or Occupational Disease.
  • Online directly with Labor & Industries (L&I).
  • By calling L&I at 1-877-561-FILE

[Back to FAQs]

5. Who makes the determination if my claim is approved?

WSU is state insured with L&I. Once all required information is submitted L&I will make a determination as to if a claim will be approved and the benefit amount.

[Back to FAQs]

6. What do I do if I have restrictions or miss time from work due to my injury?

If you have sustained a work place injury or illness and need to miss time from work or have work restrictions due to your injury or illness, it is necessary that you contact HRS immediately. You may be asked to provide medical certification from your health care provider to support your period of leave and/or limitations.

[Back to FAQs]

7. How do I complete my time/leave report when I am off work due to my work related injury?

In the event that you need to seek medical treatment and or medical certification from your health care provider supports a period of leave, you can use your accrued leave, such as sick leave or annual leave, or you can use leave without pay. Contact HRS Disability Services for additional assistance.

[Back to FAQs]

8. Can I have Shared Leave while I am off work for a work related injury?

If your claim has been approved by L&I, you are not eligible for Shared Leave. If your claim is denied and you meet the Shared Leave eligibility criteria, you can apply for Shared Leave directly with HRS.

[Back to FAQs]

9. Do I need a release from my health care provider before returning to work if I missed work due to my work related injury?

Yes. WSU cannot allow you to return to work without the release of your health care provider. Therefore, prior to your return you must submit a release to HRS.

[Return to Top]


Resources

Washington State Labor & Industries 

Center of Occupational Health & Education (COHE)

Center of Occupational Health & Education (COHE) is a public-private partnership between the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries and St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane, WA.   COHE Health Services Coordinators work directly with the injured worker, employer, health care provider, L&I, and others to coordinate the care and return-to-work activities for injured workers. WSU has been a COHE Employer since July 1, 2006.

COHE Program Goals:

  • Reduce disability and help injured workers return to work when medically appropriate;
  • Early identification of high-risk claims and improved coordination of care;
  • Foster adoption of occupational health best practices among providers, particularly with conditions contributing to higher rates of time loss compensation;
  • Increase employer, worker and provider satisfaction with the workers’ compensation system; and
  • Sustain and enhance quality outcomes for injured workers.

COHE Resources

Other Helpful Links

Additional Questions? Please contact Disability Services

[Return to Top]

 

Washington State University