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Moore: PWALSH Test Replaces WALSH for Jurisdiction

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One of the most useful tests and acronyms in the workers' comp insurance world is how to test when an injured employee crosses state lines as part of his job duties. 

James Moore

James Moore

Claims adjusters have been using the WALSH, or possibly the PWALSH, tests for many years. Many articles have appeared for the jurisdictional choice test. 

Over the years, I have seen during claim reviews and premium audits a few claims adjusters adding the “P” to the test as "paid" or what location the injured employee has been paid from recently. I also noticed the "salaried" component of the test was changed to "supervised." Interesting angle.

Let us look at the PWALSH test acronym. Workers' comp claim departments love the acronyms:

  • Paid — where the employee was paid from recently.
  • Worked — where the injured employee worked a majority of the time.
  • Accident — where the accident happened.
  • Lived — injured employee’s home.
  • Supervised — where the injured employee’s supervisor was located.
  • Hired — where the employee was hired.

The WALSH acronym:

  • Worked — where the injured employee worked a majority of the time.
  • Accident — where the accident happened.
  • Lived — injured employee’s home state.
  • Salaried — where the employee was paid from recently.
  • Hired — the location where the employee was hired.

The idea of the WALSH test was that the importance of each component was diminished as one moved down the list. "Worked" was the most important, while "hired" was the least. Is "paid" the most important aspect? No, it should be above "hired." The PWALSH test acronym recognizes where the employee’s supervisor is located.

I would say no, as the first three in the acronym describe the physical locations (WAL) that involved the injured employee before the accident.

I decided to do a Google search for PWALSH. All the results point back to the WALSH test. If one overrides the search for the WALSH test, a court case was shown to contain the PWALSH acronym as used by a claims adjuster.

PWALSH bottom line

I do like that the newest version of the test includes where the injured was supervised from while still preserving the "salaried" part of the WALSH test. 

PWALSH would need to be altered to WALSPH to show the most important variables to the least. I do not think "salaried" would suddenly become the most important one, denoted as "paid" in the newest version.

This blog post is provided by James Moore, AIC, MBA, ChFC, ARM, and is republished with permission from J&L Risk Management Consultants. Visit the full website at www.cutcompcosts.com.

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