L&I claim managers make important decisions about your claim, in the form of letters or orders. They often get it wrong. You can disagree with those decisions and ask or require them to make a better decision. If you ignore an L&I decision or wait too long, it will become final and binding and you will be stuck with it.
A protest is a written disagreement with an L&I order or letter.
There is a time deadline to protest.
Protests of L&I orders must be sent to L&I in writing within 60 days of when the order was communicated to you. Most letters can be protested anytime, even beyond the 60 days. Your protest will require L&I to reconsider their decision. The information you put in your written protest must specify that you disagree with the order and are requesting action inconsistent with the decision.
There is a deadline to protest. Miss your 60 day deadline and the order becomes Res Judicata.
If you protest on time, then you get to present more evidence and you should get another decision.
Here is what is important Making the protest on time is most important. After a protest is made you have some time to gather or get information to support the reasoning you put in the protest. Said another way: Protest first and get your information to L&I as soon as you can. Get more Protest information here.
An Appeal is a written disagreement with an L&I order. The appeal must be in writing and sent to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals within 60 days of when the order was communicated to you. This written appeal should comply with the requirements of RCW 51.52.070.
After you appeal, L&I will be given an opportunity to review the appeal and reconsider their order. If L&I passes on that opportunity then the Board of Industrial Insurance accepts a proper appeal and the litigation process starts.
Miss your 60 day deadline and you have a problem because the order becomes final, aka Res Judicata. If you appeal in time then you will start into the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals process.
Send a written appeal to: BIIA, P.O. Box 42401, Olympia, WA 98504-2401
Or you can file your appeal online.
Here is what is important Making the appeal on time is most important. After an appeal is made you have some additional time to gather or get information to support the reasoning you put in the appeal. Said another way: Appeal first and get your information to the Board when you can. Get more appeal informaiton here.
L&I provides vocational services to injured workers who are not employable. Employability is a legal decision, based on facts and opinion. When considering whether they will provide vocational services L&I makes vocational decisions. If you don’t agree with a vocational decision then challenge it. Your dispute, request for reconsideration or appeal is the proper way to disagree with a vocational decision. Vocational disputes have some of their own rules. See: Disputing, Reconsidering or Appealing a Vocational Decision.
Consult with an L&I lawyer if you have questions. The reason vocational challenges may seem complex is because they are complex.
Disclaimer The information here and throughout this website is made available to you as a public service. I present it here because I believe in access to justice and that you have a right to know important legal information. This legal information is not a substitute for legal advice. Legal advice is what lawyers do when they apply your facts to the law. I recommend you consult with a lawyer about your case. Do not miss your time deadlines.
Do it in time. Don’t miss a deadline. See Statute of Limitations (L&I)
That depends. Each persons case is different. Cases can be simple or complex; easy or hard. The law is no different for you or me, however it is the development and presentation of your facts and your case that determines how successful you will be if you DIY. It’s better to try than to give up. It’s better to request a free consultation from a lawyer so you can talk strategy. Then consider if you wish to DIY.