Denied Workers' Compensation Claims & Appeals
L&I workers’ compensation claims are denied for any number of reasons, such as missed deadlines or disputes about whether the injury was work-related. It takes experience and persistence to get The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) to reverse a denied workers’ comp claim.
How Do I Know If I Have A Denied Workers’ Comp Claim?
L&I will issue a decision stating whether your claim has been approved or rejected. If your claim is not receiving the attention you think it deserves, contact an experienced L&I attorney as soon as possible.
What To Do If I Have A Denied Workers’ Comp Claim
You, your employer, and your doctor all have the right to protest any decision made about your workers’ compensation claim. L&I must receive a written protest within 60 calendar days of the date the decision was received (15 days for decisions about vocational benefits) or the decision becomes final.
You may also appeal directly to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA). The decision becomes final if your written appeal is not received within the following legal time limits from the date you received the decision:
- 60 days to appeal a claim decision or a payment decision.
- 20 days for providers to appeal a billing decision that reduces the amount paid, or demands repayment.
How To Protest Or Appeal An L&I Order Or Decision
L&I must receive a written protest within 60 calendar days of the date the decision was received (15 days for decisions about vocational benefits) or the decision becomes final.
How To Protest A Vocational Determination
If you disagree with a vocational determination on your claim, you may submit the Vocational Dispute Form with your concerns. The dispute form is not required but may prove to be a useful tool.
You may appeal in writing to:
The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Vocational Dispute Resolution Office (VDRO)
P.O. Box 44880
Olympia, WA 98504-4880
Your dispute must be sent within 15 calendar days of receipt of a notification letter. The 15-day deadline may be extended by VDRO if good cause is shown. It’s best to dispute on time. If you miss this deadline, consider reconsideration or appeal which have 60-day deadlines.
Are Time-loss Benefits Affected During The Vocational Dispute Period?
L&I will not pay time-loss benefits if the vocational determination finds the injured worker employable or during the VDRO review process.
Can I Reopen A Denied Workers’ Comp Claim?
If your workplace injury or occupational disease worsens, you and your doctor may apply to reopen your claim. There must be medical evidence from an L&I-approved provider stating that after your claim closed, the condition caused by the original workplace injury worsened and needs more medical attention.
The amount of time that you have to reopen your L&I claim depends on the benefits you are seeking:
- For medical treatment only, you may apply at any time.
- For both wage replacement benefits and medical treatment, apply within 7 years of the date your claim was first closed (10 years for eye injuries).
- If your claim has been closed for more than 7 years, you may apply for medical benefits. However, only the L&I Director may grant additional disability benefits such as wage replacement or disability awards for these claims.
How Do I Know If I Have A Case?
The bottom line is that anyone who isn’t familiar with L&I claims in Washington State should seek the input of experienced L&I attorneys who do.
After years of helping injured workers, Emery | Reddy, PLLC has recovered hundreds of millions for our clients. Our team of L&I attorneys is experienced in litigating L&I claims, injury law claims, and employment violations. We understand how to leverage each claim in state (or federal) court and before the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals to maximize the value of all of your claims.
Emery | Reddy Can Help You With Your L&I Claim
- Medical costs.
- Ongoing medical coverage including surgery costs.
- Lost back wages.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD) award.
- An L&I pension.
If you have been injured in the workplace, call Emery | Reddy today to speak with our legal team for a free case review. Please remember to have your L&I claim number readily available.
Want More Information?
Work-related injuries and illnesses are unfortunately common occurrences in the construction industry, with injuries occurring at a higher-than-average rate for construction workers.
The L&I workers’ compensation process is anything but straightforward. Find out the answers to your L&I workers’ comp questions today.
The labor and industries lawyers at Emery | Reddy, PLLC deal with some of the most complicated work injury cases in the state. Our team of L&I lawyers has successfully litigated thousands of cases, and many to verdict. The bottom line: we try and win cases.
Meet The Team
The L&I attorneys at Emery | Reddy are passionate about helping workers with L&I claims and employment law issues. We Help Workers®: it’s our motto and it’s what drives us every day.
We know how L&I and big companies think, and we understand the tactics they use. Our labor and industries attorneys use that knowledge coupled with over two decades of experience to help our clients get access to the L&I benefits to which they are legally entitled and hold employers accountable when they break the law.
If you’re struggling with an L&I claim, injury, or legal issue at work, please call us and see how Emery | Reddy can help you today.