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51.36.017  <<  51.36.020 >>   51.36.022

RCW 51.36.020

Transportation to treatment — Artificial substitutes and mechanical aids — Modifications to residences or motor vehicles.

(1) When the injury to any worker is so serious as to require his or her being taken from the place of injury to a place of treatment, his or her employer shall, at the expense of the medical aid fund, or self-insurer, as the case may be, furnish transportation to the nearest place of proper treatment.

     (2) Every worker whose injury results in the loss of one or more limbs or eyes shall be provided with proper artificial substitutes and every worker, who suffers an injury to an eye producing an error of refraction, shall be once provided proper and properly equipped lenses to correct such error of refraction and his or her disability rating shall be based upon the loss of sight before correction.

     (3) Every worker whose accident results in damage to or destruction of an artificial limb, eye, or tooth, shall have same repaired or replaced.

     (4) Every worker whose hearing aid or eyeglasses or lenses are damaged, destroyed, or lost as a result of an industrial accident shall have the same restored or replaced. The department or self-insurer shall be liable only for the cost of restoring damaged hearing aids or eyeglasses to their condition at the time of the accident.

     (5)(a) All mechanical appliances necessary in the treatment of an injured worker, such as braces, belts, casts, and crutches, shall be provided and all mechanical appliances required as permanent equipment after treatment has been completed shall continue to be provided or replaced without regard to the date of injury or date treatment was completed, notwithstanding any other provision of law.

     (b) Injured workers shall be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses when travel is required in order to repair, replace, or otherwise alter prosthetics, orthotics, or similar permanent mechanical appliances after closure of the claim. This subsection (5)(b) does not include travel for the repair or replacement of hearing aid devices.

     (6) A worker, whose injury is of such short duration as to bring him or her within the time limit provisions of RCW 51.32.090, shall nevertheless receive during the omitted period medical, surgical, and hospital care and service and transportation under the provisions of this chapter.

     (7) Whenever in the sole discretion of the supervisor it is reasonable and necessary to provide residence modifications necessary to meet the needs and requirements of the worker who has sustained catastrophic injury, the department or self-insurer may be ordered to pay an amount not to exceed the state's average annual wage for one year as determined under RCW 50.04.355, as now existing or hereafter amended, toward the cost of such modifications or construction. Such payment shall only be made for the construction or modification of a residence in which the injured worker resides. Only one residence of any worker may be modified or constructed under this subsection, although the supervisor may order more than one payment for any one home, up to the maximum amount permitted by this section.

     (8)(a) Whenever in the sole discretion of the supervisor it is reasonable and necessary to modify a motor vehicle owned by a worker who has become an amputee or becomes paralyzed because of an industrial injury, the supervisor may order up to fifty percent of the state's average annual wage for one year, as determined under RCW 50.04.355, to be paid by the department or self-insurer toward the costs thereof.

     (b) In the sole discretion of the supervisor after his or her review, the amount paid under this subsection may be increased by no more than four thousand dollars by written order of the supervisor.

     (9) The benefits provided by subsections (7) and (8) of this section are available to any otherwise eligible worker regardless of the date of industrial injury.

[2008 c 54 § 1; 1999 c 395 § 1; 1982 c 63 § 12; 1977 ex.s. c 350 § 57; 1975 1st ex.s. c 224 § 14; 1971 ex.s. c 289 § 51; 1965 ex.s. c 166 § 3; 1961 c 23 §51.36.020 . Prior: 1959 c 256 § 3; prior: 1951 c 236 § 6; 1943 c 186 § 2, part; 1923 c 136 § 9, part; 1921 c 182 § 11, part; 1919 c 129 § 2, part; 1917 c 28 § 5, part; Rem. Supp. 1943 § 7714, part.]

Notes:

     Effective dates -- Implementation -- 1982 c 63: See note following RCW 51.32.095.

     Effective date -- 1975 1st ex.s. c 224: See note following RCW 51.04.110.

     Effective dates -- Severability -- 1971 ex.s. c 289: See RCW 51.98.060 and 51.98.070.