Working With L&I Vocational Counselors in Central Washington


You were hurt on the job — or you developed a work-related illness — and it pushed you out of work. But more than anything, you’d rather get back to work and earning a regular income.

In addition to medical coverage for your injury and payments for lost wages, Washington State’s Workers’ Compensation system also could provide help returning to your old job or retraining for a new one.

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) could award you vocational benefits, including re-training.

And L&I could assign a vocational counselor who works with you, your employer and your health care provider on a return-to-work plan.

But be careful. The vocational counselor doesn’t work for you. Don’t let the system force you off other benefits prematurely because you could qualify for a much lower paying job.

To make sure you get the maximum services you’ve earned under Washington Workers’ Comp, work with an experienced attorney.

Contact Bothwell & Hamill today.

What Do I Get With Vocational Benefits?

L&I says vocational benefits are for workers who can’t go back to their old jobs and who don’t have the transferable skills for a different job.

Vocational benefits may include approved retraining, perhaps covering costs for additional schooling or a technical program.

But Workers’ Comp benefits, including vocational benefits, are NOT guaranteed.

Injured workers often are denied benefits, or get less than they should.

That’s why you need an attorney who knows the Workers’ Comp system in Washington, like Tim Hamill of Bothwell & Hamill in Yakima, Kennewick and Sunnyside.

He can help you get the money, medical treatment, vocational services including job retraining and other benefits you deserve.

Call us now!

How Does A Vocational Counselor Work With Me?

Vocational counselors look at your situation and consider these questions:

  • Can your job be temporarily modified?
  • Can your job be permanently modified?
  • Can you return to work with a different employer?

If your current job can be temporarily or permanently modified to allow you to work even with your health limitations —or if your employer has a different job that you can do despite your physical restrictions — you could go back to work.

But if your injury makes it impossible to return to your old job, a vocational counselor will try to match your experience, age, skills, and physical and mental capabilities to other jobs in your area.

The vocational counselor advises your claim manager:

  • Whether you’re employable in your area’s job market and not eligible for further vocational services
  • Whether you’re eligible for further vocational services, including developing a plan to help you become employable
  • Whether you simply are not able to work and can no longer benefit from vocational service

Remember, not all injured workers get assigned a vocational counselor.

You already have the challenge of trying to heal from your injury. It’s easy to see how a Worker’s Comp case can add more complications to your life.

At Bothwell & Hamill, we’ll provide an evaluation for your case, free.

What If I Disagree With L&I’s Decisions?

You have the right to protest decisions L&I makes regarding your employability or your vocational plan.

The law firm of Bothwell & Hamill can explain the state’s Workers’ Comp system and its requirements to you —including the deadlines you must meet to protest decisions.

Tim Hamill works hard for his clients. And he treats them with dignity and respect

He knows how important this can be for you and your family.

If you’ve got a Worker’s Comp claim and need vocational help, contact Bothwell & Hamill today!