What Does the Office of the Ombuds Do?
We advocate for the rights of injured workers of self-insured companies who need help maneuvering through the workers' compensation process. We also strive to make improvements to the self-insured workers' compensation system by identifying issues and recommending policy improvements.
Although physically located at the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), the ombuds is appointed by the governor and serves as an independent agent and advocate for self-insured workers.
An Information Resource
Our team helps answer questions and explains the rights and responsibilities of injured workers and employers navigating Washington's industrial insurance regulations for the self-insured community. We provide information about workers' compensation, including education, training, and web resources.
Investigation of Complaints
We also assist injured workers to ensure they receive the worker's compensation benefits they are entitled to under the law. When an injured worker contacts us about a claim issue, our team reviews and investigates the complaint. During an investigation, we may need to contact your health care provider, employer, or third-party administrator (TPA) to resolve the issue. You will be involved in the process.
The records of the Ombuds Office are confidential. Information about an inquiry or complaint will not be disclosed without your authorization.
Advocates, Not Lawyers
The Ombuds staff have years of experience dealing with workers' compensation issues. We can assist you to ensure you receive the appropriate benefits under the law. If our team is unable to help resolve an issue, you may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in workers' compensation. Locate an attorney for a consultation through the yellow pages, online, or through the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) at 1-800-945-9722 or online at WSBA Lawyer Directory.