About HIWA


Officially organized on November 4, 2004 as Hawaii Injured Workers Alliance when over 50 concerned citizens of the state met, drafted and approved a charter. The now Hawai'i Injured Workers Association (HIWA) was formed on the example of parallel organizations across the U.S. and Canada. Like its many sister organizations, HIWA was formed to give voice to the many people and groups who feel they and the injured workers they support are being abused and victimized by a growing political agenda that has lost concern and compassion for the real victims of industrial injury, the workers.

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Status *

Important Legislation

  • HB 436
  • HB 891
  • HB 1240
  • HB 1176
  • SB1174
  • HB679
  • HB855
  • SB766
  • SB803

Requires that an impartial examination be conducted by a doctor whose specialty is appropriate for the injury to be examined.

HIWA Position: Support

Status: Failed to get a hearing in the House Labor Committee

HB436 HD1

Establishes price caps on drugs dispensed to injured workers. Allows for dispensing fees to physician offices.

HIWA Position: Initial Support - After amendments to limit physician dispensing to the first 30 days after the injury, HIWA changed position to Oppose.

Status: Failed to get a hearing in the House Finance Committee

HB891 HD1

Restricts reimbursement of repackaged prescription drugs and compound medications to amounts comparable to that of retail pharmacies under state law.

Status: Deferred in Health/Labor joint committee hearing.


Authorizes the employer and provider of services to notify the director of labor and industrial relations in the event of a reasonable disagreement relating to specific medical service charges. Requires that the notice of dispute is done in writing and that the parties negotiate during the thirty-one calendar days following the date of the notice to the director. Allows parties to request the director to render an administrative decision without a hearing in the event the parties fail to reach an agreement within the thirty-one day negotiation period. Establishes that the administrative decision rendered by the director is final and nonappealable.

HIWA Position: Support

Status: House Finance Committee deferred the measure.


Report Title:Workers' Compensation; Medical Examination
Description:Provides that an independent medical examination and permanent impairment rating examination shall be conducted by a qualified physician selected by the mutual agreement of the parties. Provides a process for appointment in the event that there is no mutual agreement. Effective 1/7/2059. (SD2)
Current Referral:HTH, JDL
Introducer(s):GREEN, Espero, Riviere, Ruderman

Read/Submit Testimony  Support  thumbs-up

Report Title:Workers' Compensation; Eligibility Determination
Description:Amends workers' compensation law for temporary total and partial disability benefits through certification by a physician. Allows for contemporaneous certification and retroactive certification of disability status. Applies only during the period that injuries have not reached medical stabilization or enrollment in a vocational rehabilitation process. (HB679 HD1)
Current Referral:LAB, CPC, FIN

Read/Submit Testimony  Support thumbs-up

Report Title:Vocational Rehabilitation Services; Penalties
Description:Clarifies that vocational rehabilitation providers are subject to penalties for noncompliance with workers' compensation requirements. (HB855 HD1)
Companion: SB1290
Current Referral:HUS, JUD

Read/Submit Testimony  Oppose thumbs-down

Report Title:Workers' Compensation; Independent Medical Examination
Description:Requires that a physician selected and paid for by an employer to conduct a medical examination for workers' compensation purposes shall be actively treating at least ten patients in a one-month period; be actively treating at least 50 per cent of the physician's total patient load in a one-month period; and possess medical malpractice insurance. Defines "actively treating".
Companion: HB215
Current Referral:HTH, JDL

Read/Submit Testimony  Support thumbs-up

Report Title:Workers' Compensation; Impartial Physician; Exam; Appropriation ($)
Description:Requires a workers' compensation impartial exam to be conducted by a doctor whose specialty is appropriate for the injury to be examined in cases where the director of labor and industrial relations appoints a doctor to conduct an exam. Appropriates funds for the purpose of this measure. Effective 01/07/2059. (SD1)
Current Referral:JDL/HTH, WAM

Read/Submit Testimony  Support  thumbs-up

Apr 18 2015


Once upon a time, American workers could expect workers’ compensation insurance to pay their medical bills and lost wages if they were hurt on the job. But that’s less and less the case, according to a report by NPR and ProPublica, a non-profit that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. After a year-long investigation, the two news organizations found that all around the country, state legislatures are whittling away at workers’ comp systems, with terrible consequences for hundreds of thousands of workers who suffer serious injuries on the job each year.

Apr 09 2015

The Hawai’i Injured Workers Association (HIWA) was recently honored with a $3,500.00 matching grant from the Hoosie Martin Foundation.  This grant will enable HIWA to gain the competitive skills to research, apply for, and secure education-related grants from private foundations and the government, both locally and nationally.

Mar 11 2015


Joel Ramirez climbs back into his wheelchair with the help of Francisco Guardado, a home health aide, at his home in Rialto, Calif. Ramirez was paralyzed from the waist down in 2009 when a 900-pound crate fell on him at a warehouse. Changes to California workers' compensation laws have impacted his quality of care.

Workers injured on the job are supposed to get guaranteed medical care and money to live on. Employers and their insurance companies pay for that. And in return, employers don't get sued for workplace accidents. But this "grand bargain," as it's called, in workers' compensation, seems to be unraveling. NPRand ProPublica report on the changes to workers' compensation laws and how that's putting more of the costs back onto the families and government.

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Happy Birthday!

Wishing our President Doug Moore a very Happy 59th Birthday!


HIWA Brochure

new HIWA-Brochure Page 1

Read More On NPR's Workers' Comp Investigation

  • Injured Workers Suffer As 'Reforms' Limit Workers' Compensation Benefits +

    Dennis Whedbee, 52, lost half of his left arm in a drilling accident in North Read More
  • As Workers' Comp Varies From State To State, Workers Pay The Price +

    Jeremy Lewis lost his left arm during a work-related incident while working at Pilgrim's Pride Read More
  • Federal Regulators Link Workers' Comp Failures To Income Inequality +

    A few hours after ProPublica and NPR issued the first in a series of reports about workers' compensation "reforms" Read More
  • 'Grand Bargain' In Workers' Comp Unravels, Harming Injured Workers Further +

    Joel Ramirez climbs back into his wheelchair with the help of Francisco Guardado, a home Read More
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Work Comp FAQs

  • How do I file a Work Comp claim? +

    The Basics If you believe you were injured at work or suffer from an illness Read More
  • Workers' Compensation for Employees +

    WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR WC BENEFITS? Most employees who suffer from any injury or illness, Read More
  • Who is required to provide Work Comp coverage? +

    Any employer, other than those excluded below, having one or more employees, full-time or part-time, Read More
  • What are my benefits? +

    What does workers' compensation pay for? Workers' compensation includes medical benefits; wage loss replacement benefits Read More
  • Know your rights! +

    Worker's Compensation, sometimes referred to as "Workman's Compensation" or "Worker's Comp", is the name given Read More
  • What should I do if injured at work? +

    If you are injured at work, immediately report the accident to your employer and seek Read More
  • What types of Worker Compensation is available in Hawaii for injured workers +

    Here's a list of the various types of Worker Compensation available to Hawaii's injured workers; TTD, Read More
  • From whom can I obtain medical treatment? +

    You may obtain medical treatment from a physician of your choice. However, you may be Read More
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