Full Job Description
Our Mission: Keep Washington Safe and Working! Our Values: Customer Focus, One L&I, Respect, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Learning and Growth, Reliability.
All employees who work for the Department of Labor & Industries must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and proof of their fully vaccinated status against COVID-19 must be shown to L&I’s human resource office prior to employment.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, telework is expected for most positions, including this one. As L&I begins to allow for staff re-entry into the workforce, the incumbent of this position may be expected to report to an L&I facility or field office (duty station) for work activities. At that time, discussions about this position may be eligible for continued telework in accordance with L&I’s telework policy. Telework is dependent upon business needs and supervisor approval. When asked to work in the office, the duty station for this position is: Washington.
Washington is America’s Top State according to U.S. News (2019) and we provide one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation. Here at the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), we believe that your voice matters. We value our employees and offer flexible schedules that respect your work/life balance. In addition, L&I is a diverse state agency dedicated to the safety and health and security of Washington’s 3 million workers. Learn more about L&I, the employer of choice here.
We are searching statewide for vocational rehabilitation counselors with Washington state industrial insurance experience. The ability to work remotely from anywhere within the state is now possible!
The Vocational Services Specialist 2 (VSS2) provides consultative services under direction of the Claims Unit Vocational Services Specialist Supervisors and with the support and guidance of the Chief of Return to Work Partnerships. This position which may be done remotely from anywhere in the State of Washington, supports the state’s economic well-being by preventing long-term disability. The VSS2 provides professional and technical expertise to department staff, private vocational counselors, employers and their representatives, health care professionals and injured workers and their representatives by effectively interpreting and implementing the statutes, administrative codes, department policies and procedures associated with WA state vocational rehabilitation services.
Within this role, you will be charged with making determinations on eligibility for plan development services and approving vocational retraining plans. You will also research and respond to inquiries from external customers, claims staff and providers regarding vocational services. You will address and resolve vocational reported barriers by interfacing with department staff including Private Sector Rehabilitation Services (PSRS), Vocational Dispute Resolution Office (VDRO) and other staff as needed.
Some of what you will do:
- Provide education and training regarding vocational services to department staff and vocational providers as needed or requested.
- As assigned, participates as a Vocational Services Specialist representative on various improvement groups and task forces.
- Research and resolve inquiries from customers, claims staff and providers regarding vocational services.
- Consult with interested parties in addressing barriers to successful vocational resolution.
- Make recommendation to the Director for discretionary approval of vocational services to avoid permanent total disability and/or charges of those services to the medical aid fund.
- Review concerns with vocational reports and recommendations submitted by vocational providers for appropriateness and provides written recommendations, as needed.
What we are looking for:
- Analytical skills, demonstrated ability to reason on disputed claims, provide factual/legal analysis, and exercise judgment in complex cases.
- Strong presentation and documentation skills; able to capture and articulate the facts used to formulate their decision and create a legally defensible record of each appeal.
- Negotiation skills; ability to assess cases, evaluate risks, and negotiate effectively/professionally with parties.
- Organized; appropriately prioritize and manage multiple, long term case assignments.
- Problem Solver; ability to make timely decisions after considering alternatives.
- Active listening skills, able to understand needs, clarify information, identify concerns, and respect differing opinions.
- Objectivity: the ability to provide analysis of both sides of each case.
Who should apply:
Applicants must hold one of the following certifications: Certified Rehabilitation (CRC) Counselor; Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS); or American Board of Vocational Experts (ABVE).
We seek vocational professionals with A Master’s Degree AND a CRC, CDMS, or ABVE certification AND ONE year of full time State of Washington industrial insurance, disability management or related field experience in all phases of vocational services.
A Bachelor’s Degree AND a CRC or CDMS certification AND TWO years full time State of Washington industrial insurance, disability management, or related experience in all phases of vocational services.
CRC = Certified Rehabilitation Counselor; CDMS = Certified Disability Management Specialist; ABVE = American Board of Vocational Experts.
- Experience in providing all phases of vocational services to industrially injured workers in the State of Washington.
- Excellent communicator with the ability to speak, write and adapt the conversation to the level of the audience.
- Effective interview techniques for communicating and asking questions in ways that enhance clarity, information flow, and the reliability of the information.
- Exceptional writing ability to be able to prepare written documents; organize facts and conclusions in clear and logical sequence.
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain working relationships and partnerships. Able to build cooperation through credibility, expertise and persuasion.
In addition to the above education and experience, our most desirable candidate will possess some or all of the below knowledge and abilities:
Knowledge of: All phases of industrial insurance vocational services in the State of Washington, vocational rehabilitation theory and practice; applicable Federal and State laws related to vocational rehabilitation; worker’s compensation laws and practices; techniques of rehabilitation plan and assessment review; job training or educational preparation for employment; implications of physical and emotional disabilities; vocational testing/assessment as related to specific occupational information; physical and environmental aspects of occupational settings; basic ergonomics and job analysis; worker incentives to return to work; motivational interviewing.
Ability to: review and analyze complex case related information to make determinations regarding benefits; produce reports and documents in accordance with established guidelines; communicate effectively with medical professionals, attorneys, claims staff and others to facilitate case management; conduct reviews using established methods and procedures to analyze vocational assessment products.
Since this work position may be anywhere in the State of Washington, a candidate will need Sufficient Internet access enabling the ability to work and communicate remotely with the Department.
The ability to travel to Department Headquarters for orientation, conferences, or training as needed. Most training will be completed remotely.
Note: Please include a resume and cover letter with your application detailing your knowledge and experience related to this opportunity.
The top candidates will be contacted directly to interview for this position. Because the selection will be based on information provided by you, it is in your best interest to identify the knowledge, skills and abilities that address the mandatory and desirable qualifications described in the announcement.
Please include the following documents with your application:
1. A letter of interest describing specific qualifications.
2. A current resume detailing applicable experience and education.
3. A list of at least three professional references with current telephone numbers.
- Prior to any new hire into L&I, a background check, including criminal record history, will be conducted.
- This position is represented by the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE).
- Employees driving on state business shall have a valid driver’s license. If driving a privately owned vehicle on state business, must be insured.
Applicants wishing to claim Veterans Preference should attach a copy of their DD-214 (Member 4 copy), NGB 22, or signed verification of service letter from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to their application. Please blackout any personally identifiable data such as social security numbers. For further information please contact us at: Jobs@Lni.wa.gov
The State of Washington is an equal opportunity employer. Persons with a disability who need assistance in the application process or testing process, or those needing this announcement in an alternative format, may call (360) 902-5700. TTY users should first call 711 to access the Washington Relay Service.
You are welcome to include the name and pronoun you would like to be referred to in your materials and we will honor this as you interact with our award-winning diverse and inclusive organization.
If you have any questions regarding this announcement, program, or the agency please contact the Human Resource Business Transformation Unit at HRBTU@lni.wa.gov or Elizabeth Flannery at flae235@LNI.WA.GOV