A Washington State worker has the rights to workers’ compensation benefits, without regard to fault, if they are injured on the job. Most employers are required to provide State industrial coverage through Labor & Industries (L&I) with either the State Fund or the Self-Insured section. Injured worker rights include:
Rights & Benefits for Injured Workers
- Medical Care -For job injuries
- Time Loss Compensation – If you can’t work
- Permanent Partial Disability Awards (PPD) -Claim Settlement
- Vocational Rehabilitation -Job Training
- Pension/Total Permanent Disability – If you will not return to work
- Death Benefits – If you die from a job-related injury or disease, your surviving spouse and dependent children have the right to receive a monthly pension.
- Third Party Claims – two claims for one set of facts.
- Travel Reimbursement: If pre-authorized, reimbursement for travel mileage, parking, tolls, food, lodging, and lost wages will be paid. It is necessary that you keep all bills and receipts and provide copies to your claim manager.
- Property Damage Reimbursement:Personal Clothing or protective equipment lost or damaged in a job injury can be replaced. Make sure that any receipts that have been acquired to replace or repair belongings are kept, and copies are given to your claim manager.
- Consideration of your Case:
You have a right to disagree with decisions concerning your claim. You have a right to have your case considered a number of times and by different people. Speak up if your rights are being infringed upon. The following people can and, AFTER PROPER REQUEST, will make decisions on your case:
a. Claims Manager
b. Claims Consultant
c. Industrial Appeals Judge
d. Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals
e. Superior Court Judge or Jury
f. Appellate Courts
If you disagree with any decision made concerning your case, make the right request at the right time to have your case reconsidered or reviewed further.
- Legal Counsel
You have a right to legal counsel in workers’ compensation matters. If you have questions regarding workers’ compensation law, you may want to consult an attorney. You may choose any attorney you wish, and you have a right to have the fees your attorney charges reviewed for reasonableness.
- Discrimination Protection
You have limited protection from employer discrimination for having filed a claim. If you are discriminated against, you must file a formal complaint within ninety (90) days to preserve your rights.
- Loss of Earning Power Benefits (LEP) With return to work with less pay
- Reopening Your Claim -After closure
After your claim is closed for more than 60 days, if your medical condition worsens and requires additional medical attention, you may apply to reopen your claim.
- Claim Resolution Structured Settlement Agreement (CRSSA)-Another settlement option
- Other Rights
Injured workers often have other rights which arise because of their injury or their status as a worker. Some of these rights are listed below. If you think they may apply to you, get more information. If you have a question about your rights, ask someone.
You may have a right to:
- Victim of Crime Compensation
- A healthful and safe working environment with the right to refuse extremely dangerous work.
- Minimum wage and overtime pay. Worker Rights Complaint form.
- Prevailing wage while you work on a public works project. Prevailing Wage Complaint form.
- Protected leave through the Washington Family Care Act, to care for sick family members. Protected Leave Complaint form.
- Social Security Disability Benefits
- Unemployment Compensation
- Protection against discrimination as a handicapped worker.
- Social service benefits, such as welfare or SSI.
- Workers’ compensation benefits or their rough equivalent in another system if you are a longshoreman, harbor worker, seaman, federal employee, a defense base worker, or a railroad worker.