Let me be clear: In no way am I suggesting that you will be better off financially on time loss payments. Without delving too far into technicalities, the maximum benefit you can receive on time loss in Washington is 75% of your wage, depending on your marital status and dependents. As a single injured worker with no dependents, you will receive 60% of your wage. Again, this is sort of the 30,000-foot view of a process that involves many intricate details. The point is, is that even in the best of circumstances, time loss is not a comfy landing spot. However, if you’ve been injured at work or have a condition from occupational exposure, it can be the thing that helps make ends meet while your doctor has taken you off work.
So what can you do to make sure you’re in the best position to make the time loss process go as smoothly as possible in your workers’ comp claim?
Workers’ Comp Claim Tips
File Your L&I Injury Claim
Make sure you don’t run out of time at the outset! You have one year from the date of an industrial injury (i.e. a fall or a sudden accident) to file an L&I injury claim. You have two years from the date a doctor first told you your symptoms are related to your work to file an L&I occupational disease claim (i.e. overuse of joints, repetitive task injuries, exposure, etc). You can’t get time loss or medical treatment if you don’t timely file your claim.
Set Your Wage with L&I
How much time do you spend working? Go find those pay stubs! These little slips couldn’t be more important when setting your wage with L&I – and you’d be surprised how much of a fight it can be without them. If you don’t have physical stubs, maybe you have online or local access to your employee file. If not, contact your HR person. You want to know your hourly wage, hours worked (plus overtime) and the amount your employer contributes to the benefits you receive such as medical or housing. If you have a claim without a wage order, or you haven’t yet filed your claim, the time is now to get that information together!
Remember Your Workers’ Comp Forms
Take the time to fill out your forms. Don’t put off filling out your Affidavit of Time Loss or your Worker Verification Forms whenever you receive them. WVF forms might seem like repetitive busy work, but your claim manager can suspend benefits if you don’t put one in approximately once a month.
Schedule Your Workers’ Compensation Consultation
If you have questions about time loss, filing dates, wage orders, or anything else on your workers’ compensation claim in Eastern Washington, give Carlisle & Byers a call – we’ll set up a time to talk.