Category: Washington Workers’ Compensation

September 13, 2022
by Moriah Schiewe

Monkeypox is on the rise in the State of Washington. What does that mean for occupational disease claims?

Is this the beginning of another global health crisis? In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is facing yet another global health crisis:…

August 10, 2022
by Joe Urbanski

Claimant Died: Now What?

It is commonly said that there are only two constants in life: death and taxes. While Washington workers’ compensation benefits are generally tax free, death…

June 15, 2022
by Christine Olson

Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries Issues Q&A for New IME Rules and Guidelines

The Department of Labor & Industries’ new rules and guidelines for independent medical examinations (IME) went into effect on April 23, 2022. These rules and…

June 8, 2022
by Michael Godfrey

Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals Makes In Re Kathleen Houlihan a Significant Decision

On April 29, 2022, the Washington Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals published its new “Significant Decisions” from 2021. The Board issues hundreds of Decisions &…

April 27, 2022
by Elizabeth Aaberg

Washington L&I Conducts Ambient Heat Exposure Rulemaking

The Department is conducting rulemaking to update the requirements for occupational heat exposure from high ambient temperatures in all industries, including outdoor and indoor exposures….

April 6, 2022
by David White

New L&I Rules Regarding IMEs Take Effect April 23, 2022

Starting April 23, 2022 the Washington Department of Labor & Industries will be implementing new rules regarding IME notices and what constitutes a “case progress…

March 23, 2022
by Joe Urbanski

Washington Legislature Potentially Provides Extended Benefits to Claimants on Reopen Applications

The Washington Industrial Insurance Act allows claimants to reopen their claims following closure when the conditions proximately related to their industrial injury or occupational disease…

February 16, 2022
by Christine Olson

Washington’s Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals Provides Some Guidance in Applying Maphet

Ever since the Washington Court of Appeals issued the Clark County v. Maphet decision in late 2019, employers have struggled with the ramifications and implications…

January 5, 2022
by Sarah Cohen

A New Year Means New Rules and Guidelines

As we hit the ground running in 2022, there are few rule changes to keep in mind when administering claims in Washington. I’ve included a…

November 24, 2021
by David White

Washington Court of Appeals Issues Decision Restricting Type of Evidence to Rebut Firefighters’ Presumption

In a recently published decision, Bradley v. City of Olympia, the Washington Court of Appeals clarified the type of evidence an employer or the Department…

November 2, 2021
by Dan Schmidt

Long COVID and Its Workers’ Compensation Implications in Washington

While COVID-19 still dominates all aspects of the workforce and complicates decisions on when to request that workers come back to in-person working, a new…

October 27, 2021
by Christine Olson

In re: Katherine Bard: A Tentatively Significant Board Decision

Every year, Washington’s Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals determines whether any of the decisions or orders issued that year should be designated as a “significant…

September 22, 2021
by Michael Godfrey

Department of Labor & Industries Updates Medical Treatment Guidelines for Lumbar Spine Surgery

On September 21, 2021, the Washington Department of Labor & Industries published new treatment guidelines for lumbar spine surgery. For those unfamiliar, the Medical Treatment…

August 25, 2021
by Kara Cogswell

Board’s 2020 Significant Decisions Include Two of Interest to First Responder Employers

The Washington Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals recently published its list of Significant Decisions for 2020.  Per WAC 263-12-194, these are decisions which the Board…

August 4, 2021
by Elizabeth Aaberg

Potential New Rules Regarding IMEs in Washington

Effective January 1, 2021, legislative revisions to RCW 51.36.070 narrowed the circumstances under which self-insured employers may require a claimant to attend an independent medical…

June 9, 2021
by Michael Godfrey

Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals Conducts Stakeholder Meeting

On May 21, 2021, the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals held a Stakeholder’s meeting to discuss several important topics. COVID-19 Reopening Status The Board announced…

June 2, 2021
by Christine Olson

Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries Issues Updated SIF-2 Forms and Addendum to Prior SIF-2 Forms for Use by June 30, 2021

While most of the focus in workers’ compensation’s recent legislative developments and changes are focused on those brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it…

May 5, 2021
by Sarah Cohen

Governor Inslee Expected to Sign Additional COVID-19 Related Legislation

Over the past year, the Washington legislature has passed several bills meant to protect workers from the impacts of COVID-19. During the most recent session,…

April 29, 2021
by Kara Cogswell

Washington L&I Updates Guidance on Out-of-State Travel for IMEs

For employers with Washington claims involving individuals who have moved out of state, the pandemic has made it very difficult to obtain independent medical examinations….

April 21, 2021
by Dan Schmidt

Washington Workers’ Compensation in a Work from Home World

If there is one thing the pandemic showed us – outside of the beauty of sourdough and the ease of making chicken stock – it…

April 14, 2021
by Elizabeth Aaberg

Big Changes to Structured Settlements with Passage of Washington’s Senate Bill 5046

A claim resolution structured settlement agreement (“CRSSA”) is a type of settlement agreement that can be utilized in matters involving claimants of at least 50…

April 9, 2021
by Laurel

Join SBH at its 11th Annual Washington Workshop

Although we are all still working from home, we know you need your Washington Claims Examiner Credits.  We have an excellent lineup of speakers and…

March 31, 2021
by Matthew Baker

Washington Legislature Considers New Presumptions for COVID-19

In the past, the Washington legislature created presumptive workers’ compensation causation for firefighters and workers at the Hanford Site. The legislature is close to creating…

March 10, 2021
by David White

The Pacific Northwest Worker: Subjectivity of the Traveling Employee

Given their proximity to each other, workers’ in Oregon and Washington often find themselves traveling to/from both states as part of their jobs. Both Oregon…

February 24, 2021
by Hannah Teig

Tips and Tricks for Independent Medical Exams (IMEs)

Independent medical examinations (IMEs) are a great tool for claims examiners to use in processing at the beginning, middle, and end of claim. They are…