In 2011, the Washington State Legislature passed several major workers’ compensation reform acts. Engrossed House Bill 2123 permits workers, employers or the Dept of Labor & Industries to open and negotiate structured settlement agreements to resolve claims for qualified injured workers age 55 and over.
A structured settlement agreement is defined as an agreement between a worker, his or her employer, and L&I that seeks to resolve future non-medical benefits on a claim. For the majority of structured settlements, claims are closed and workers receive a fixed compensation payment in installments as laid out in the agreement.
As explained by Dustin Dailey, Program Manager: “Structured settlement is another option for those injured workers who want to pursue work or retirement goals independent of the system.”
L&I oversees current negotiations with injured workers and State Fund employers who insure through L&I. The agency is not involved with structured settlement agreement proceedings for self-insured employers.
Although a worker may enter into a structured settlement agreement, he or she may still receive prescribed medical treatment for conditions covered by their claim.
The proposed rules concern the implementation of the legislation, and are available under L&I rules at the Structured Settlement website.
Public hearings on the proposed rules will be held at:
- Vancouver, Feb. 21, 10 a.m., Red Lion at the Quay, 100 Columbia St., 98660
- Tukwila, Feb. 21, 1 p.m., L&I Tukwila office, 12806 Gateway Dr. S., 98168
- Tumwater, Feb.22, 10 a.m., L&I Tumwater building, 7273 Linderson Way S.W., 98501
- Spokane, Feb.22, 10 a.m., Center Place Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place, 99216
Written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m., Feb. 24. You can submit written comments to Nancy James at Nancy.James@lni.wa.gov
Mail: Department of Labor & Industries, P.O. Box 44208, Olympia, WA 98504
Hand delivery: L&I, 7273 Linderson Way SW, Tumwater, WA 98501.
Washington’s State Fund is the seventh largest workers’ compensation insurer in the country. It provides insurance to employers and workers at no profit; the money to pay claims comes from premiums and investment income. The State Fund does not get any money from state taxes that go into the state General Fund or from the federal government.
For legal advice and assistance with your L&I claim, contact a Seattle Workers’ Compensation Attorney at Emery Reddy. If the Department of Labor & Industries has required you to complete an Independent Medical Exam, we urge you to consult with an attorney prior to attending the IME.
Appeal a denied L&I claim: If your claim has been rejected, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced L&I attorney to appeal denied L&I claims. The Dept of Labor and Industries has established time limits for appealing rejected injury claims, so we encourage you to consult an Emery Reddy attorney for assistance right away.