(1) The legislature finds that there is a need to clarify the process and standards under which the department provides residence modification assistance to workers who have sustained catastrophic injury.
(2) The director shall adopt rules that take effect no later than nine months after July 24, 2005, to establish guidelines and processes for residence modification pursuant to RCW 51.36.020(7).
(3) In developing rules under this section, the director shall consult with interested persons, including persons with expertise in the rehabilitation of catastrophically disabled individuals and modifications for adaptive housing.
(4) These rules must address at least the following:
(a) The process for a catastrophically injured worker to access the residence modification benefits provided by RCW 51.36.020; and
(b) How the department may address the needs and preferences of the individual worker on a case-by-case basis taking into account information provided by the injured worker. For purposes of determining the needs and requirements of the worker under RCW 51.36.020, including whether a modification is medically necessary, the department must consider all available information regarding the medical condition and physical restrictions of the injured worker, including the opinion of the worker's attending health services provider.
(5) The rules should be based upon nationally accepted guidelines and publications addressing adaptive residential housing. The department must consider the guidelines established by the United States department of veterans affairs in their publication entitled "Handbook for Design: Specially Adapted Housing," and the recommendations published in "The Accessible Housing Design File" by Barrier Free Environments, Inc.
(6) In developing rules under this section, the director shall consult with other persons with an interest in improving standards for adaptive housing.
(7) The director shall report by December 2007 to the appropriate committees of the legislature on the rules adopted under this section.
[2005 c 411 § 1.]