What to do if Injured
We hope you will remain injury free at work for the duration of your career. But we also know injuries happen.
For some, especially independent providers who are caring for a family member in their own house, it can be unclear what is actually defined as a “work” injury.
For Home Care Aides, an on-the-job injury is defined as being injured while performing a task on the Consumer’s care plan.
If you’ve been injured while working as an HCA, you are not alone.
Did you know that the homecare injury rate is approximately four times higher than the US average for all occupations?
Not all Home Care Aides feel comfortable reporting their injury to Labor and Industries (L&I).
- Some worry about losing their job:
- But it is illegal for someone to be fired due to reporting a workplace injury or by filing a claim.
- Other thing the injury is not serious, only to realize that it still hurts, days, weeks, or months later.
- But you can file a claim up to a full year after an injury.
How to report your injury to L&I
STEP 1: Injured at Work
- Get first aid. Many falls, cuts, and sprains can become serious injuries if they aren’t treated right away.
If you are injured at work, go to your doctor, nearest Urgent Care center or, for severe injuries, the Emergency Room. Let them know you were injured on the job and they will assist you in filing the worker’s compensation claim.
Let your employer know right away about your injury.
For Individual Providers: Ask your doctor for the “Report of Injury or Occupational Disease” form. List your employer as:
HCQA Negotiated Contract
601 Union St., Suite 3500, Seattle, WA 98101.
STEP 2: File a Claim
You can file an accident report for your injury at your doctor’s office, over the phone to the L&I office at 1-877-561-FILE (business hours only), or online at www.LNI.WA.gov.
- Complete all required paperwork and keep copies of everything for your records.
- Read all paperwork carefully and respond promptly.
- Put your claim number on your paperwork and have it ready when you call L&I and your employer.
For IPs: CDWA is responsible for the administration and support of workers’ compensation issues for IPs who are injured on the job. Once an IP is employed with CDWA, work injuries can be reported by calling their customer service phone number at 877-532-8542.
STEP 3: If Claim is Approved
L&I will approve your claim if your doctor certifies that you were injured at a specific time and place at work, or if you have a disease or disorder caused by your work. Benefits cover medical bills. They also may include wage replacement, return-to-work help, and disability for the severely injured.
STEP 3: If Claim is Rejected
Claims can be rejected if the doctor cannot certify your medical condition is related to something specific that happened at work or an occupational disease.
You and/or your doctor have the right to protest any decision made about your claim online at www.lni.wa.gov. Appeals can be made directly to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals.
STEP 4: Get Back to Work
Some injured workers miss days of work while they recover. However, many can return to work gradually, while still receiving medical benefits.
Returning to work as quickly as possible is a team effort between you, your doctor, and your employer. Stay in touch with them. L&I will provide assistance when you need it.
STEP 5: Close Claim
Claims are closed when:
- Your doctor certifies that further treatment won’t improve your condition.
- L&I has no new information showing you need further assistance.
- Your treatment was successful! (In these cases, L&I accepts and closes your claim at the same time in a “Notice of Decision.”)
SEIU 775 Benefits Group plan members: Your insurance coverage through the Benefits Group will NOT be affected by reporting your injury to L&I.
You can continue to use your current benefits while collecting additional benefits from L&I.