As noted by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, the overwhelming majority of workers in Washington are covered by the state’s mandatory workers’ compensation insurance program. If you or a loved one has been hurt on the job, you may be entitled to recover medical benefits, time-loss compensation, and disability benefits under this program.
Unfortunately, in practice, recovering the full and fair benefits that are owed to you can sometimes prove to be challenging. Also, waiting for your coverage to kick in can be incredibly frustrating and complex. It can sometimes be difficult to get useful answers in regards to your case. In this post, our Seattle workers’ compensation attorneys seek to provide some much-needed clarity.
When Will I Receive Time-Loss Benefits?
Time-Loss Compensation Should Be Paid Within 14 Days
Injured workers need to get access to time-loss compensation as soon as possible after their workplace accident. Under Washington State regulations, time-loss compensation shall be paid within 14 days of the date the claim was received by the department.
You Must Complete and Submit the Appropriate Forms
To ensure that you can get your full and fair time-loss compensation as quickly as possible, it is imperative that you follow the proper claim procedures. You need to get yourself to a doctor for a comprehensive evaluation immediately after your workplace accident. Before your claim can be processed, the Application for Benefits must be submitted to the Department along with the Physician’s Initial Report.
If you are unable to work due to your injury, your medical provider must complete an Activity Prescription Form (APF). This is a form that certifies that you are currently unable to work due to your on-the-job injury. In addition, you must complete the injured worker’s Work Status Form. On this form, you will certify that you have not been working.
Provisional Compensation is Often Approved
In many cases, time-loss compensation will start before the workers’ compensation claim is accepted. This is known as ‘provisional’ time-loss benefits. In the event that your claim is later denied, please be aware that you will be required to repay the provisional benefits.
When Will I Receive Medical Coverage and Disability Benefits
Beyond time-loss compensation, injured Washington workers also are entitled to full coverage for medical treatment. Under Washington state’s workers’ compensation program, medical services are paid if they are reasonable, proper and necessary and if they are related to the accepted condition(s) under the claim. An injured worker is eligible to receive coverage for their treatment until maximum medical improvement is reached.
Permanent Disability Benefits
Once an injured worker’s condition has reached maximum medical improvement, and the injured worker has been found able to work in some capacity, the medical provider or independent medical examiner must rate for permanent partial impairments caused by the injury. There is no pain and suffering paid under Washington workers’ compensation program. Monetary compensation for permanent partial impairment is based on the permanent partial impairment rating given the date of injury.
Will My Workers’ Compensation Payments Be Taxed?
Once you begin receiving your workers’ compensation payments, you may be wondering whether or not you will be required to pay taxes. Here there is good news: workers’ compensation benefits are generally exempt from state and federal taxation.
There are exceptions. The most notable exception is when an injured worker’s Social Security disability benefits are offset by time loss benefits. If you have any questions regarding taxation, you should consult with a tax accountant.
Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Seattle
The The Walthew Law Firm has over 80 years of experience handling workers’ compensation claims in Washington. We can help you get your full and fair benefits as quickly as possible.
For a free consultation regarding your workplace injury case, please contact our law firm today. With offices in Seattle and Everett, we represent injured workers throughout the region, including in King County, Pierce County, Kitsap County, Island County, and Snohomish County.