Labor & Industry Lawyers – Seattle, Washington
L & I Benefits are complicated and when you suffer an injury in the workplace, it is very important that you understand your rights. If you are denied benefits or are the victim of an unsafe workplace, the experienced L&I attorneys at Phillips Law Firm will help you seek the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
L & I Benefits in Washington State
- Generally workers receive 60% – 75% of their wages based on their average income of the year preceding their industrial injury or occupational disease. These benefits are called “time loss” and are paid every 14 days.
- In most cases time loss starts within 14 days of the beginning of the claim.
Temporary Disability Benefits
- The injured employee has the intent to return to work.
- Temporary disability benefits compensate for time off of work so that the employee can cover expenses while they rest and heal.
Partial Return to Work
- During the healing process, and with the approval of the medical provider, the employer may choose to offer the employee a light duty position such as answering phones, administrative or clerical tasks, or perhaps a supervisory role.
- If the light duty wage is more than 5% less than what the employee was earning before they were injured, the employee has sustained a Loss of Earning Power (LEP). An employee who has a Loss of Earning Power is entitled to 80% of the difference between the light duty wage and the pre-injury wage.
- Example: If a worker breaks their leg in a job that requires walking and heavy lifting at a pay rate of $15 per hour, the employer may choose to bring the worker back to light duty work with customers at $10 per hour. An injured employee would be entitled to 80% of the difference between what they are earning on light duty ($10 per hour) and what they were earning at the job of injury ($15 per hour). Therefore, the injured employee would be entitled to 80% of the $5 difference per hour. In this example, the injured employee would have a Loss of Earning Power of $4 per hour.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
- Once an employee has reached maximum medical improvement, an assessment will be made by a medical professional to determine any permanent loss of function of a condition accepted under the claim.
- There are rules and amounts set for these conditions with a yearly schedule released for amounts of each. The injured worker receives this amount in addition to their time loss compensation and medical benefits.
- After an injured worker’s injury or occupational disease has reached maximum medical improvement, a determination must be made as to the worker’s ability to return to the workforce.
- If an injured worker can no longer perform the job they were doing when they were injured, and if they have no work history performing work they are now able to do, and if they did not acquire work skills that are transferrable to a job they are now able to do, then vocational retraining may be authorized.
- A fund of approximately $17,000 is set aside for the worker to attend vocational retraining or school for a two year period.
- Depending on the retraining plan an injured worker opts for, time loss benefits will continue for 6 – 24 months.
Permanent Total Disability
- A worker is permanently disabled and considered unable to work when they are no longer able to perform the work they have done in the past and they are not able to be retrained for work that they are able to perform within their permanent restrictions.
- Permanent disabilities are paid as a pension for the rest of the injured worker’s life; and in some cases for the life of their spouse, as well.
- Permanently disabled workers may be entitled to Federal Social Security Disability Benefits.
- Spouses and immediate family members are entitled to benefits, including both children and step-children. Divorced spouses are not entitled, however legally separated spouses are.
Get Started With Your Free L & I Case Evaluation
Our L & I Lawyers are dedicated to getting you the justice and compensation that you deserve. Call Phillips Law Firm at 1-800-708-6000. We are waiting to assist you 24/7 with a free case evaluation. And remember our no fee promise. That means if we don’t recover anything for you, you don’t owe us anything.