The ROA now includes a cover sheet in the 16 most frequently requested languages which tells an injured worker how and why to complete the ROA. It also advises them of their right to free interpretation services.
Interpreter services information has been added as a result of the US Department of Justice and Department of Labor investigation of the agency. The law requires that workers are informed of their right to access an interpreter, which must be communicated to them in their language of preference. The new ROA complies with these requirements.
They added additional information to the ROA instructions for health care providers, so that they can help injured workers access translation services when requested. Detailed instructions to help providers and workers complete the ROA will soon be available in all 16 languages on the L&I website.
Clear access to translation services helps eliminate delays caused by communication barriers. The sooner L&I receives a complete ROA, the sooner they can process the claim.
A new signature block has been added. When signed, it authorizes L&I claim staff to obtain employment records from the Employment Security Department.
The new signature block was added as a result of L&I's partnership with the Employment Security Department. Having access to employment history earlier in the claim benefits injured workers because timely access to employment information will help with return-to-work (RTW) efforts.
The current process to obtain work histories — usually performed by private vocational rehabilitation counselors (VRCs) — is cumbersome and time consuming. Additionally, the release forms used by VRCs are not standardized. Authorizing the release of work history on the ROA form streamlines and standardizes the process for obtaining this information and should help reduce claim duration by providing access to the information earlier in the claim.
Having earlier access to work histories should also help expedite validity determinations for occupational disease claims. Access to work histories also allows claim managers to more easily identify the need for services such as early RTW and ability-to-work assessments (AWA).