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The WSIA Weekly, 10.9.15

L&I announces new rule for vocational rehabilitation benefits
Yesterday, the Department of Labor & Industries issued its formal announcement that it will be issuing a new rule related to vocational rehabilitation benefits, in response to action by the Legislature earlier this year. The rule will implement changes in the “Option 2” election, allowing a longer period of time for workers eligible for retraining to opt out of their program and elect Option 2. Option 2 benefits also increase from six months of time loss payments to nine months of time loss. Proposed rule language has not been publicly released yet; we’ll update you when it is.

Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals announces readability improvements
Earlier this week, the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA) announced it will start rolling out changes in the style and format of its Proposed Decisions & Orders (PD&Os) and Decisions & Orders (D&Os) to improve readability. The move comes after surveying the legal community and working with a judicial writing professor. You can read more about the changes at this link.

 WSIA conference planning committee meets Monday
WSIA’s conference planning committee, chaired by U.S. HealthWorks’ Linda LaMonte, is holding its next meeting on Monday, October 12th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Valley Medical Center’s Medical Arts Center (MAC), Room C. The group will be discussing all of WSIA’s upcoming conferences including Annual Conference planning. There is a GoToMeeting online option for those interested but unable to attend in person. E-mail Patrick Koenig for more information, or for the meeting’s online login information.

Workers’ Comp Employers’ Coalition to meet later this month
The employers’ workers’ comp coalition, a legislative/public policy assembly of state fund and self-insured employers and associations from across Washington’s various industry sectors, is holding its next meeting October 21st in Kent, after a brief hiatus. The group will update and discuss ongoing issues related to workers’ compensation, and discuss the various sectors’ legislative agendas and priorities. If you are interested in learning more about the coalition or this meeting, e-mail Kris Tefft.   

Only two spots left for Legal Issues Workshop – sign up quickly!
Our always popular Legal Issues Workshop, taking place October 28-29 at the Great Wolf Lodge conference center, and offering a cornucopia of continuing education credits for all sorts of professionals, has filled up fast. Only two spots remain until we hit room capacity. A waiting list will be opened once we sell out, in case of cancellations. If you want to come but haven’t registered, act now to make sure you get one of the last seats! Details and registration at this link.

Don’t miss: Claim management webinar next week
Next Thursday at 10:00 a.m., Olympia-area physiatrist Edward Dagher, MD, along with attorney Lauren Oda of Sather Byerly and Holloway, present "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: What Every Claims Manager Needs to Know." Click the link for webinar details and registration; WWCP credit is available, and L&I CEU have been applied for.