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Ombudsman offices and worker assistance

Highlights

  • In 2018, the Office of the Ombudsman for Injured Workers handled more than 7,500 inquiries.
  • In 2018, the Small Business Ombudsman handled more than 1,400 contacts.

Injured workers and employers may find the workers’ compensation system confusing. Oregon has recognized that the comprehensibility of and access to the system are essential features of success. Therefore, a number of advocates and advisory groups provide services and recommend policy.

Ombudsman for Injured Workers

The 1987 Legislature created the Office of the Ombudsman for Injured Workers as an independent advocate for injured workers, assisting workers by accepting, investigating, and attempting to resolve complaints on workers’ compensation matters. Recognizing the value of the office, the Legislature increased the staff during the 1990 special session. Legislation passed in 2003 clarified the supervision and control of ombudsman services and required that quarterly reports be submitted to the governor. The office consists of the ombudsman and five staff members.

While more than 80 percent of inquiries are from injured workers, inquiries also come from attorneys, insurance companies, employers, and others. The issues that prompt the most inquiries are claims processing, medical services, and benefits.

Small Business Ombudsman

The Office of the Small Business Ombudsman for Workers’ Compensation was created during the 1990 special session to serve as an advocate for and educator of small businesses. The office is the resource center for employers needing information about the workers’ compensation system. It helps resolve disputes between employers and insurers, provides educational seminars and trade shows, and helps all parties.

Ombudsman contacts

Year Ombudsman for Injured Workers inquiries Small Business Ombudsman contacts


Answering workers' questions

Workers’ Compensation Division benefit consultants answer workers’ questions about their claims, describe workers’ rights and responsibilities, and help people understand the workers’ compensation system. Cases requiring translation or advocacy are referred to the Office of the Ombudsman for Injured Workers.

Workers' compensation information line calls

Year Total calls Worker calls Other calls


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