How to stay in control of Washington workers’ comp claims
In Washington state, you have several tools available to help lower the cost of workers’ comp claims. Two of the biggest and best are:
Claims that only have minor medical expenses (up to $3,340 for 2021) are discounted to $0 on your account. This means they won’t impact your future rates.
Claims that only have minor medical expenses…won’t impact your future rates
Washington Stay-at-Work program
When an injured employee can’t come directly back to their usual job, the Washington Stay-at-Work (SAW) program offers rebates to employers who offer a light-duty position instead. Employers can earn up to $13,900 in rebates through SAW.
These programs can be combined, so your company can earn the Medical-only discount, plus the SAW rebates on a single claim. And, there’s no limit to the number of claims. But, you’ll need to be organized and in-control of each claim to make this possible!
Learning how to manage claims
Information can come fast and furious once an L&I claim is filed — and missing something can cost your company money.
The best way to protect yourself is to be ready for a claim and the best way to start that process is by learning the basics and sharing that knowledge with every employee.
“We want every claim to close and every injured employee back on the job as quickly as possible,” says Jamie Graham, VP claims at Approach, “and it really helps when everyone involved understands those goals.”
How to educate yourself
As an Approach client, you have access to our two highly-rated training programs:
Claims 101 ™: If you’re a company owner or new to workers’ comp, invest just a few hours of your time in Claims 101. You’ll come away understanding the basics of claim management and the important steps you’ll need to take once a claim is filed.
Claims 201 ™: If you’ve had Claims 101, take our next-step class to learn about the aspects of workers’ comp that are less common, but more expensive. Claims 201 launched in 2018 and is now one of our most popular programs.
How to educate your employees
The days and weeks after a workplace injury can be very uncomfortable and confusing for an injured employee. Help to reduce their worries by providing them with our Claims Process Infographic now:
You can use this graphic during a staff training or meeting to walk employees through the process, so they’ll know what to expect if a claim is filed. When employees know what to expect, you’re building trust that can help to speed their recovery and claim closure in the event of a workplace accident.
What to do when a claim is filed
Bring your injured employee back to work
You need to bring your injured employee back to work as soon as the doctor says it’s OK, even if it’s to a light-duty position instead of their regular job.
Let us know as soon as there’s an accident or claim filing, so that your Approach Retro Coordinator can help you make the right call. If you need to create a light-duty position, we’ll also help you to request those SAW rebates.
Stay in touch
If the employee has to recover at home due to doctor’s orders, keep in touch and show your concern for his or her treatment and recovery. We’ll probably ask your company to use Kept-on-Salary (KOS) payments during this time, so you’ll want to request updated information from the doctor frequently.
By keeping the lines of communication open and positive, you’ll have a better chance of helping the employee back on the job while keeping claims costs as low as possible.
Perform a post-accident investigation
Discovering the root cause of each accident can help your company eliminate hazards and reduce the chance of future injuries. The Approach Safety Team can help you conduct post-accident investigations or routine safety checks.
With early education, plus adherence to these suggestions, your company will be in the best possible position to claim discounts and rebates, while moving the claim towards closure. Your Approach retro coordinator will help you throughout each claims process and is also available if you need help with advance planning or documentation. Don’t forget the Approach client portal for a variety of templates you can update yourself!