In 2011, the Washington State Legislature enacted an amendment to the workers’ compensation laws, which went into effect on January 1, 2012. The amendment allows structured settlements for injured workers who are over 55 years of age and whose claim has been allowed for more than 180 days. The age for workers who qualify for structured settlements changed to 53 as of January 1, 2015, will go to 50 on January 1, 2016.
At The Walthew Law Firm, we represent the hardworking residents of Western Washington when they have suffered work injuries that render them at least partially unable to perform their job duties or have developed a disability caused by an occupational hazard. Our attorneys fight aggressively to obtain the full compensation possible for our clients under workers’ compensation laws according to their specific disability.
Work with Seattle structured settlement attorneys who have years of experience handling workers’ compensation cases. Contact our Seattle-based law office at 206-623-5311.
Seattle Workers’ Compensation Settlement Attorneys
The goal of this amendment was to reduce the number of total disability pensions awarded by the Department of Labor & Industries. Put simply, it was intended to protect employers, not injured workers.
The Department is now advising injured workers of this change, and you may hear more about this in the near future from the media or other injured workers. Structured settlements award a fixed sum of money paid out over a specific period. This is not a situation where there is a large, one-time lump-sum payment. When the payments end, there are no additional monetary benefits paid on the claim, no matter what may happen in the future. Under the usual claim process, benefits can be paid for the life of the injured worker, based on a person’s age, education, work history, prior injuries, and the effects of industrial injury or occupational disease claims.
Our attorneys recommend a slow and very careful approach to this legislative change. Each client’s file will be reviewed carefully and discussed thoroughly with him or her. It may be tempting to think about being “done” with the Department of Labor & Industries and the claim process, but the cost of being “done” may be exceptionally high.