Were you hurt on the job in Washington? You are not alone. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Western Information Office reports that there were 78,200 nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses reported in Washington in 2020 alone. Every employee in Washington—including part-time—is entitled to workers’ compensation insurance coverage. You can and should file a claim for benefits. In this article, our Seattle workers’ compensation lawyer provides a detailed overview of the different types of benefits that are available in workers’ compensation claims in Washington.
An Overview of the Different Types of Workers’ Compensation (WC) Benefits in Washington
Medical Care (Proper and Necessary)
In Washington, workers’ compensation insurance ensures that injured workers have the right to receive medical care so long as it is “proper and necessary.” In effect, “proper and necessary” means medical care that is related to the injured worker’s injury or illness and intended to be diagnostic, rehabilitative, or curative so that the worker can have ongoing treatment and recover.
Temporary Disability Benefits (Time Loss Benefits)
You may hear temporary disability benefits referred to as time loss benefits or wage replacement benefits. These benefits provide injured workers with financial support for the time that they are required to miss work to recover from their injury or illness. In Washington, time loss benefits are generally between 60 and 75 percent of a worker’s pre-injury wages, depending on key variables such as family status in addition to statutory minimum and maximum limits on benefits.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits
A serious work injury or occupational disease can leave a worker with a permanent disability. In Washington, permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits compensate workers who will never make a complete recovery. The amount of a worker’s PPD benefits is based largely on their disability rating from a doctor. A disability rating can be thought of as a medical assessment of the severity of your permanent impairment. The higher the rating, the more disabled you are deemed by the State of Washington and the greater the level of PPD benefits you will be entitled to receive.
A major goal of workers’ compensation insurance is to provide injured workers with the resources they need to make a full recovery and return to the workforce. In some circumstances, an injured worker’s physical or mental impairment could make it unreasonable, unsafe, or impossible for them to return to the previous job they were working. Vocational rehabilitation helps retrain injured workers to learn the skills and knowledge they need to transition to a new career or job.
Was your family member killed on the job in Washington? Unfortunately, these workplace tragedies remain far too common. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) reports that nearly 70 job-related fatalities are reported in the state each year.
When a worker dies on the job, their surviving family members have a right to receive benefits through workers’ compensation. Under Washington law (RCW 51.32.050), survivors’ benefits include immediate payment of up to 200 percent of the average monthly wage and ongoing payments of:
- 60 percent of the deceased worker’s wages (surviving spouse, one child);
- 62 percent of the deceased worker’s wages (surviving spouse, two children);
- 64 percent of the deceased worker’s wages (surviving spouse, three children);
- 66 percent of the deceased worker’s wages (surviving spouse, four children); or
- 68 percent of the deceased worker’s wages (surviving spouse, five children).
Not Being Offered Full and Fair Workers’ Comp Benefits? An Attorney Can Help
Unfortunately, some injured workers struggle to get access to the full and fair workers’ comp benefits that they deserve under the law. You may even find your claim wrongfully denied by the Department or insurance company. At The Walthew Law Firm, we are committed to helping injured workers maximize their workers’ compensation benefits, including medical coverage, temporary disability, and, if applicable, permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. Our Washington work injury lawyers have professional skills and proven experience that injured workers can rely on.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Seattle Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today
At The Walthew Law Firm, our Seattle workers’ comp attorneys are experienced advocates for injured workers. If you have any questions or concerns about the types of WC benefits that you are entitled to receive, our team can help. Contact us today for a no-cost, no-commitment review of your case. We handle work injury claims in Seattle, King County, and throughout the surrounding region, including in Tacoma, Bellevue, Renton, Federal Way, and Kirkland.