Labor & Industries announces new computer system planned for Washington’s workers’ comp program

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April 08, 2019
The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is seeking legislative approval of a project to replace its 1980s-era workers’ compensation computer system.
The computer system is used in managing and tracking nearly 100,000 workers’ comp claims and $2.25 billion in premiums each year.
The current computer system consists of more than 100 mostly custom-built subsystems that have been added over a period of nearly 40 years. It lacks many modern features, is challenging to maintain and thwarts the agency’s efforts to improve customer service.
The new computer system will primarily use cloud-based, commercial software designed for the industrial-insurance industry. It will have modern features that make it easier to operate – for L&I employees as well as customers.
The entire project will take about seven years and cost an estimated $300 million. L&I officials say the expense will be more than covered by savings generated from process and service improvements in the workers’ compensation program. Premium rates will not be affected.
The state House of Representatives budget proposal for the July 2019-June 2021 budget period includes $81.9 million to cover the first two years of project expenses.