Benefits through an L&I Claim
If you were injured on the job, you may be eligible to receive benefits through an L&I claim. This raises an important question: How much will my Labor & Industries claim be worth? There is no easy answer to this question. Every work injury claim has its own unique set of facts and circumstances.
The Department of Labor & Industries reported that monetary benefits paid in the average payment of time loss compensation in a claim in the fiscal year 2019 was $38,084. Your L&I claim could be worth significantly more or less depending on how long you receive time loss benefits. Here, our Seattle workers’ compensation lawyers explain what you need to know about how L&I claims are valued.
Know How to Value Your L&I Claim
L&I claims are always valued on a case-by-case basis. How much a claim is worth varies based on the specific circumstances of the case. In Washington, workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits for medical treatment, time loss compensation, loss-of-earning power benefits, vocational benefits, permanent disabilities or impairments, and lifetime pensions. Depending on the nature and severity of your injury or disease, your L&I claim may include benefits for any of the following:
- Medical Treatment: First and foremost, workers’ compensation covers the cost of all medical care that is proper and necessary. An L&I claim should include coverage for emergency medical treatment, surgeries, office visits, and rehabilitative services.
- Time Loss Compensation: If you are unable to work on a full-time basis because of your injury/illness, wage replacement benefits should be available through L&I or your self-insured employer. Time Loss compensation pays between 60 percent and 75 percent of your date-of-injury wages from all employment, up to a current maximum rate of $6,970 per month. Your time loss compensation is not taxable.
- Loss of Earning Power: In some cases, injured workers are entitled to Loss-of-Earning-Power (LEP) benefits. If you are only able to return to work on a part-time basis or were forced to take a lower-paying, light duty position, your L&I claim may include LEP benefits. The basic formula for LEP benefits is payment of 80% of the difference between date-of-injury wages and current wages not to exceed a worker’s full-time loss rate. To better understand how much compensation may be available, L&I put together a Loss of Earning Power (LEP) worksheet detailing the calculations involved in determining LEP payments.
- Vocational Retraining Services: A severe injury or occupational disease may make it impossible for you to return to your previous position. If you do not have prior job experience, qualifications, or education to return to any other employment, you may qualify for vocational retraining services. If L&I approves a retraining plan, you can choose to participate now and receive time loss compensation during retraining (Option 1) or delay the start of your retraining plan and receive funds to pay for school but receive no time loss compensation (Option 2).
- Permanent Partial Disability: Permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits are paid to workers who have reached maximum medical improvement but have still not made a full recovery. This rating is made independent of someone’s ability to work. PPD will be rated by a medical provider based on lost bodily function. The higher your PPD rating, the higher your monetary benefits. Do not accept an unfairly low PPD rating.
- Total Permanent Disability: If your injury/illness is so severe that you cannot reasonably return to any type of gainful employment, your L&I claim should include compensation for total disability pension benefits. These lifetime monthly total disability payments vary based on a claimant’s date-of-injury wages and marital status and whether or not the injured worker receives Social Security benefits. As total disability cases are highly complex, injured workers should be represented by an experienced workers’ comp attorney.
Workers’ Compensation Video
Others Factors that May Affect the Value of Your Work Injury Claim
It is important to emphasize that there are other factors that may also impact the total value of your workers’ compensation claim. You may be entitled to compensation from Social Security, a third-party liability claim, or an employment law case.
If someone other than your employer was negligent and contributed to your injuries, consult with a third party liability attorney. If your employer took adverse action against you because you filed an L&I claim (harassment, demotion, termination, etc.), tell your attorney. Your legal rights may have been violated.
Get Help From an L&I Claims Attorney in Washington
At The Walthew Law Firm, our Washington workers’ compensation lawyers have the skills, expertise, and dedication to protect your rights. If you have questions about how much your L&I claim is worth, we can help. To schedule a free, no commitment consultation, please contact our legal team now. From our office locations in Seattle and Everett, we serve communities throughout the region, including in Tacoma and Bellevue.
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