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PDFWAC 296-19A-065

What is an ability to work assessment?

(1) Workers may be referred to a vocational provider for assessment activities at the discretion of the department or self-insured employer to determine if a worker is eligible to receive vocational rehabilitation plan development services. Assessment activities will generally occur after all of the following:
(a) The vocational provider has applied the services outlined in WAC 296-19A-050 What are vocational recovery services?;
(b) The services did not result in a return to work or a valid job offer or offers; and
(c) The vocational provider has documented such efforts.
(2) During an ability to work assessment, the vocational provider will maintain regular communication with the worker, addressing the worker's concerns, assisting to resolve barriers, as appropriate, and updating them on assessment activities to include information requested and/or collected.
(3) Assessment activities may include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) Documenting work restrictions;
(b) Performing job analyses;
(c) Evaluating the worker's ability to work at the job of injury or any other job including an assessment of the worker's transferable skills;
(d) Conducting labor market surveys as defined in WAC 296-19A-140;
(e) Evaluating the worker's ability to benefit from plan development services, including any and all vocational testing considered necessary to support a recommendation for retraining eligibility, if appropriate;
(f) Documenting a recommendation to the department or self-insured employer on whether the worker is employable at gainful employment, consistent with RCW 51.32.095 (2)(a) through (g) or whether vocational plan development is both necessary and likely to make the worker employable at gainful employment;
(g) Assessing the worker's need for preferred worker status and when appropriate educating the worker on the preferred worker benefit; and
(h) If a worker indicates an interest in returning to work and, in the professional judgment of the vocational provider, the worker has the necessary skills and abilities to do so consistent with their medical restrictions, the vocational provider may provide those services listed in WAC 296-19A-050 as they deem appropriate.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020, 51.04.030, 51.32.095, 51.36.100, and 51.36.110. WSR 19-21-149, § 296-19A-065, filed 10/22/19, effective 1/1/20. Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020, 51.04.030, 51.32.095, 51.32.099 and 51.32.0991 (2007 c 72). WSR 08-06-058, § 296-19A-065, filed 2/29/08, effective 3/31/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020, 51.04.030, 51.32.095, 51.36.100, 51.36.110. WSR 03-11-009, § 296-19A-065, filed 5/12/03, effective 2/1/04.]
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