Loss of Earning Power Benefits
If you have an open L&I claim for workers’ compensation and have returned to work, you may be eligible for Loss of Earning Power (LEP) Benefits.
LEP benefits can help make up the difference between what you were making at the time of the injury and now. You might be able to claim LEP payments if you’re working part-time or light duty for less pay than you received before the accident, and your L&I claim is still open.
What Determines Your Loss Of Earning Power Eligibility?
There are several factors involved in determining eligibility for Loss of Earning Power benefits in Washington state:
- Whether the L&I claim is open or not.
- If you’re back at work and receiving wages.
- The loss of earnings exceeds 5% of your wages at the time of the injury.
- Medical certification exists to show you’ve lost earning power due to the injury.
You May Also Be Entitled To Loss Of Earning Power Benefits If You:
- Return to work at a lower wage because you are on modified duty.
- Return to work at your regular wage, but your hours are restricted as a result of your workplace injury.
- Had more than one job at the time of injury and your injury is restricting you from performing one of the jobs (even if it is not the same job where your injury occurred).
How Long Do Benefits Last?
When your L&I claim closes, or you have returned to your full earning capacity, your LEP payments will end.
However, if you suffer a permanent reduction in wages or earning power as a result of your workplace injury, you may be able to claim a permanent partial disability award, a pension, or a structured settlement. An L&I attorney can give you more advice on this.
Does FMLA Affect My Eligibility?
No. Any leave you take under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) should not impact your ability to make a claim for LEP benefits. They are separate claims.
However, just as you’re entitled to apply for LEP payments, it’s important that your employer treats you fairly and does not discriminate against you for exercising your FMLA rights. If you have any more questions about FMLA and what rights you have, or you’re concerned about discrimination, contact an FMLA attorney now for advice tailored to your specific circumstances.
How A Work Injury Attorney Can Help You With Your L&I Claim
L&I claims in Washington can be complicated, which is why you should consider approaching an L&I attorney for advice. If you feel that you are not receiving the LEP benefits to which you are entitled, or you know that your wage has been permanently affected by your injury, you should call the legal team at Emery | Reddy, PLLC for a free case review. Please remember to have your L&I claim number readily available.