By Workers Compensation Lawyer Chris Sharpe
What is an L&I Settlement?
An L&I settlement is money paid for a work related job injury. The money is paid at claim closure. There are three different types of L&I Settlements.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD). The web-page you are now on is all about this PPD settlement
- Pension. If you cannot return to work at any job, you must read about Pensions.
- CRESSA. If you want to give up some of your rights and settle early, read about CRESSA
L&I Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) is your L&I Claim Settlement.
A permanent partial disability settlement is money paid at closure of the L&I claim, for impairment caused by the job injury.
If You Have or If You Will Return to Work then a Permanent Partial Disability Settlement is your best settlement option.
How Much Money Will I Get With an L&I Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Settlement?
PPD Settlement Calculation– The amount of PPD settlement money varies with the date of injury, the seriousness of the disability, whether you have any liens or overpayments on your claim, and what you do to help yourself.
- Date of injury is important because each year L&I increases the amount of money they will pay for a particular disability. The payment you receive is found in the PPD schedules. The schedule you use is based on your date of injury.
- The seriousness of your injuries as measured by your permanent partial disability rating. Disability ratings are made by medical personnel, usually an IME doctor or your own doctor. Get a good PPD rating or you will be disappointed with your settlement amount. PPD rating are the opinions of doctors. Opinions vary. It’s smart to have your PPD examiner be someone who believes in you and is informed about your injuries. Impairment ratings can be performed by most currently licensed physicians. WAC 296.20.2010(1). There is no requirement that a PPD impairment rating doctor be a network provider.
- Help yourself – Don’t sit back and wait for L&I to stick it to you. Do something to help yourself. You’re doing the right thing now- getting informed. Keep reading this website, learn about your rights, and take action to get a fair settlement.
PPD Rating Exams
- Permanent Partial Rating exams are done in anticipation of claim closure. They are performed by licensed physicians. There are good and bad rating exams.
- A good rating exam is done by a doctor who cares about you, who will listen to what you say, and who is not afraid of L&I.
- A bad rating exam is usually done by an IME doctor. Thee are hired guns who don’t listen, don’t care, and close their eyes to your problems. Don’t sit back and let an IME doctor ruin your settlement. Get Help.
How Long Does It Take to Get a PPD Settlement?
A permanent partial disability PPD settlement, if any, is awarded at the end of the claim – after medical care is completed (maximum medical improvement reached) after you are employable (working or can work), after you get a PPD disability rating and at the time L&I issues a closing order.
Is a PPD Settlement a Lump Sum or is it Time Payments?
- Small PPD payments are lump sum. If the settlement money is less than three times the state’s average monthly wage at the date of injury, a check for that amount is sent.
- Modest and large PPD payments are both lump sum and time payments. If the settlement money exceeds more than three times the state’s average monthly wage at the date of injury, a down payment of that amount is made. Then the balance of the award is paid in monthly installments equal to the worker’s monthly time-loss compensation (at the time of closure).
What If I Don’t Like My Settlement Amount?
Do something about it. You can do it yourself with a protest or appeal, or you can get a lawyer to do that for you. If you want to talk to a lawyer you can Contact us, Don’t wait until its too late.
Can I Cash a PPD Check and Ask for More Settlement Money?
Yes, you can cash a PPD check and ask for more settlement money. You ask for more by appealing or protesting the closing order before the 60 day deadline passes.
Want to Know how Much PPD Settlement Money You are Going to Get?
We can tell you what L&I plans to pay you, if you can tell us:
- Your date of injury
- The affected body part(s)
- Your category or percentage rating for each affected body part, also know as permanent partial disability rating.
PPD Settlement Calculator
- A Permanent Partial Disability Calculator is a claim closing process. Your disability is rated by a doctor as a percent of amputation value or a category of bodily impairment and then your claim is closed.
- It is a process and these are the required steps. Open claim, get medical care, become employable, get a rating exam and close claim with a PPD settlement.
- The calculations occur when converting the rating exam to settlement dollars. The actual calculation is just simple multiplication. Sure it’s nice to know what you might get – but don’t focus on that. Focus on what you are going to do to improve the numbers so that you improve your PPD settlement. . It is the rating exam impairment numbers and AP concurrence or non-concurrence that is important.
What is a Fair L&I Settlement?
Who decides what is fair? Does anyone ever get back what they have lost? How do you keep from getting the short end of the stick when you are hurt on the job?
L&I settlements are inherently unfair – they are a compromise. Nobody ever gets back what they have lost – you lose the use and function of a body part – but L&I can only give you settlement money.
Don’t worry about taking advantage of L&I. So long as you are honest with them that is not going to happen. As for not getting a bad deal, that depends on your facts, the claim management, what you do to help yourself, and whether or not you have a good plan. I recommend that you follow the advice of a workers comp attorney.
This is not rocket science. You can get a fair settlement, but don’t sit back and expect it to happen. You have to take the right steps to get a better settlement
How Do I Get a Better Settlement?
There are several ways to do this.
- Consider a Pension.
- View our settlement video again.
- Don’t let IME doctors push you around.
- Take a realistic view of the mental health aspects of a serious disability.
- Don’t throw settlement dollars away by ignoring your depression.
- Any Questions? Contact us.
What Can I Do to Help Myself?
Understand the L&I claim process. Get your claim open, get your medical care, get your time loss paid, be ready to and/or do return to work. At this point you are in position to have your L&I PPD rated and your claim closed.
Understand how PPD works, see Alvins story, An L&I Settlement Example.
If you like complex and difficult things look at PPD Settlement Rules.
If you will never work again see Pensions.
For a fair settlement, make sure your physical and mental losses are fairly and accurately assessed and don’t trust IME doctors.
You can help the claims manager make the right decision. You can try to DIY. You can talk to a lawyer.
What is an L&I Pension?
An L&I pension is the best possible settlement. An L&I pension has nothing to do with your employer. This is not a retirement pension. This is a disability pension. Anyone hurt on the job is eligible. The best pension candidates are over age 55, have a singular work history, and a physically demanding job. They also have a helpful doctor, they cannot work again, and they are willing to talk to a lawyer. If this is you contact us.
DIY PPD Settlements
Can I do it myself? Yes you can. Read this page several times. Pay special attention to the PPD rating exam section. Get a good rating exam and you should get a fair settlement.
Can a Washington State L&I Lawyer Help Me?
A free phone consultation with an L&I lawyer in our office will answer that question. They can easily assess where you are and what should be done next. Once you get their advice, you can DIY or you can ask them if they will help you. A good workers’ compensation lawyer won’t take your case unless they believe they can improve your settlement. Initial consultations by our law office always are free, ask as many questions as you want to ask. We can help you plan a smart course of action and get the best possible settlement. Contact us.