How Much to Expect from Your L&I Payouts
If you’ve been injured at work and forced to miss work due to your injury, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) may pay for part of your lost wages.
Benefits include medical care, time loss compensation, permanent partial disability, vocational rehabilitation, pensions, and other payments. This payment is contingent upon your doctor verifying that you are unable to work due to the workplace injury.
While you will not receive your salary in full, L&I is still able to offer individuals L&I payouts that can help you stay afloat financially as you recover from your injury.
In this blog, we break down what to expect from your L&I payouts, as well as the claim submission process and if and when you should consider retaining an attorney.
By the time you’re done, you’ll come away with a thorough understanding of this complicated process.
What to Expect from your L&I Payouts
As we mentioned previously, L&I payments will not be the same as your regular paycheck. These payments are dictated by a strict formula, with the benefit amount falling between 60-75% of your wages or salary, and is based on how many dependents you have and the type of injury. Both the minimum and maximum L&I payments are set by the state legislature and are non negotiable.
After your doctor submits your L&I certification and no additional info is needed, your first payment will be sent within 14 days.
You can expect your L&I payouts to be mailed or electronically dispersed twice monthly, as long as your doctor officially submitted your inability to work and your L&I claim manager receives your Worker Verification Form.
Be sure to cash or deposit your check within 180 days of receipt, or it will expire. If this occurs, L&I can reissue your check if it is less than 2 years since the original issue date.
Since the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) views time-loss compensation as a disability benefit, you don’t have to pay taxes on your payouts.
How to Begin an L&I Claim
If you’ve been injured at work, it’s time to begin your L&I claims process. While the process may seem simple and straightforward, there are three options for getting your claim in motion. Due to so many different variables in these claims, an L&I attorney’s assistance may help you as you begin the process.
1. File by Phone
You can start your claim by calling (877) 561-3453.
2. File Online
If you would prefer to save yourself the hassle of interacting with someone over the phone, you can file online here.
3. File at Your Doctor’s Office
To successfully file an L&I claim, you will need help from your doctor. Your doctor will need to complete each of the following tasks:
- Confirm that your injury is, in fact, work-related.
- Determine your ability to return to work.
- Complete the Accident Report form.
Once you’ve completed these steps, your claim is officially being processed.
A general note on timing: There is a deadline associated with claim filing called Statute of Limitations. If you’ve been injured at work, you have one year from the date of injury to file. If you contract an occupational disease, you have two years or longer from the onset of the disease.
Should I Contact a Lawyer About My L&I Payout?
Submitting an L&I claim is a complicated process–there are lots of opportunities for error along the way.
To ensure you’re getting what you deserve from your L&I payout, it is wise to contact a lawyer to represent you. By including a professional in your claim, you avoid common mistakes and have an advocate in your corner who will help get you the funds and support you deserve.
The legality around these claims can be complex. You want to be certain that you’re protecting yourself and your family during this difficult time. Some attorneys offer a free consultation, allowing you to have a transparent conversation with a professional team about your current situation, your progress in the claims process, and what you’ve heard from your employer.
At Emery Reddy, we believe that every individual deserves compassion, which is why we are passionate about stepping up for our clients.
For many injured workers, pain extends far beyond the limits of their injury, often leaving long-lasting emotional and psychological damage in its wake. Whatever your injury, we are committed to supporting our clients throughout the legal process in order to provide the peace of mind necessary for a full recovery.
Contact us today for a free case analysis.