Employment Services Team
offer assistance to eligible Oregon injured workers, and to
employers who employ or re-employ them, to help parties navigate
the workers' compensation system, to resolve disputes, and oversee
the administration of the Employer-at-Injury Program.
Program (EAIP): Provide consultation and oversight for insurer-administered
program that provides incentives to employers who return their
injured workers to temporary light-duty work while their claims
are still open. Incentives include wage subsidies for up to 66-work
days, worksite modifications, and certain purchases.
Preferred Worker Program (PWP): Administer and deliver
direct services to eligible Oregon workers with injury-caused
permanent disabilities and the employers who hire them. Incentives
include exemption from paying workers' compensation premiums of
the preferred worker for three years, claim cost reimbursement
for new on-the-job injuries within the premium exemption period,
six-month wage subsidies, worksite modifications up to $25,000,
and employment purchases.
Vocational Assistance Dispute Resolution: Resolve disputes related to vocational
assistance process, including eligibility determinations, appropriateness of vocational
plans, and end of eligibility.
Benefit Consultation: Respond to inquiries from injured workers, insurers, employers, medical providers, and attorneys in an effort to resolve misunderstandings and differences which might otherwise result in sanctions or litigation.
Contested Cases: Facilitate the resolution of contested
cases through mediation or hearing.
specialists determine the eligibility of injured workers
and employers for the program's benefits. The injured worker's
medical and claim information is reviewed to determine if
the worker meets eligibility requirements of the program.
Employer eligibility for incentives is based on current
workers' compensation coverage. Re-employment specialists
review and approve wage subsidy contracts; tool, equipment,
and clothing purchases; and payments for tuition, moving
costs, and other purchases for the Preferred worker. The
specialists also initiate reconsiderations and investigations
and provide phone consultations for all parties regarding
the above benefits. If a request is not approved, the specialist
provides a letter of explanation to the requesting party.
Specialists provide education and training to the public
regarding re-employment assistance.
The worksite modification consultants specialize in worksite modification
and provide consultation services for the worker, employer, insurer,
and private rehabilitation counselor. Consultations can be on-the-job
site or by phone, helping the employer and worker redesign worksites
and selecting appropriate equipment. The consultants write and
approve contracts and authorize payment for the modifications.
Consultants also provide education and training to the public
regarding re-employment assistance and worksite modification.
The majority of vocational reviewers' time is spent trying to
prevent disputes. They schedule and convene conferences with insurers,
workers, attorneys, and vocational counselors when return-to-work
plans are not implemented within statutory timeframes. This enables
the parties to identify obstacles and overcome those obstacles
for return-to-work plans to be implemented, reducing the need
for either party to file a dispute with the division.
Vocational reviewers also resolve disputes over vocational assistance
eligibility and the type and extent of services provided. To resolve
a dispute, reviewers use alternative dispute resolution skills
and processes, including facilitating agreements via in-person,
phone, and written negotiation, mediation, and education. Reviewers
review file material and request additional information from the
parties. They talk to workers, insurers, employers, trainers,
medical providers, and others over the phone or in person and
attempt to negotiate agreements. If the parties reach agreement,
the reviewer issues a formal letter of agreement. If the parties
reach an agreement not covered under the vocational assistance
rules, the reviewer issues an order of dismissal. If the dispute
is not resolved by agreement or dismissal, the reviewer completes
an investigation, weighs the evidence, and renders a decision
called a Director's Order. Director's Orders may be appealed to
the Workers' Compensation Division and then to the Court of Appeals.
Vocational reviewers provide consultation and training to injured
workers, vocational counselors, medical providers, insurers, attorneys,
and the general public. Consultation and training address statutes,
case law, rules, regulations, and policies to gain or clarify
information relevant to the dispute or dispute resolution process.
The benefit consultants respond to general inquiries in person,
over the telephone, or by letter, including written responses
for signature by the administer, the director, a legislator, or
the govenor. Workers' compensation issues related to injured worker
benefits are usually resolved by letter or phone, but in some
cases, the benefit consultants issue administrative orders.
The goal of the Contested Case Team is to facilitate resolution
of contested cases. The team reviews and processes hearing requests
on noncomplying employer orders, nonsubjectivity determinations,
and civil penatly orders issued by the division. The team negotiates
settlements and mediates issues between the parties. The contested
case coordinator represents the division at administrative hearings
and mediations before the Workers' Compensation Board.
The Employment Services Team has offices in Salem and Medford.
436-105: Employer-at-Injury Program
OAR 436-110: Re-employment Assistance Program
OAR 436-120: Vocational Assistance to Injured Workers
OAR 436: BCU and CC
more information contact:
Return to work: 503-947-7588 or 800-445-3948 (toll-free)
Vocational Assistance: 503-947-7816 or 800-445-3948 (toll-free)
If you have questions about this webpage, please contact
Danae Hammitt, 503-947-7018.