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.
at Injury Program (EAIP): Provide consultation and oversight
for this insurer-administered program which 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, work site modifications, and
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, work site 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: To facilitate the reolution 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. Reemployment
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, as well as
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 reemployment 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
work sites and select appropriate equipment. The consultants write
and approve contracts and authorize payment for the modifications.
Consultants also provide education and training to the public
regarding reemployment assistance and worksite modification.
The majority of a vocational reviewer's 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 which includes, but is not limited to: 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: Reemployment 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
Vocational Assistance: 503-947-7816 or 800-445-3948
If you have questions about this webpage, please contact
Rae Howe, 503-947-7018.