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L&I Time Loss – How to Get a Fair Rate

Time loss is the wage replacement money paid every two weeks while you’re not working. RCW 51.08.178 & 51.32.090.

To get time loss you must:

  • have an open L&I claim and
  • be certified as unable to work by your doctor. The doctor can use an Activity Prescription Form which they need to send to L&I
  • not be working, and verify this by completing a Work Status Form and sending it to L&I
  • because of a medical condition causally related to your injury

Time loss rate: Wages x family status percentage

Wages include 

  • your date of injury wages
  • contractual bonus paid in the 12 months prior to injury
  • wages from a second job, if any
  • reported tips
  • board, housing, fuel, or other consideration of like nature,
  • the employers cost of health care insurance, if any, you may have lost since the injury

Family status % 

Family status determines the % of wages [wage rate x percentage = time loss rate]

  • Single = 60%
  • Married = 5% more
  • Children = 2% more each up to 10% maximum, paid to the parent with legal custody
  • Child’s 2% only continues to age 18 or 23 if in school full time

Maximum Time Loss Rate

The above % of wages figures are limited for high income earners. There is a dollar maximum per month, which is set for your claim as of your date of injury. For new claims, this maximum changes yearly. For details see

Minimum Time Loss Rate

The % of wages figures don’t apply to persons who earn very low wages. Their time loss rates are set at:

To Get a Fair Time Loss Rate

Be sure you pay attention to the L&I order setting your wage rate. Make no mistake about this: the wage rate set in that order, once it becomes final, is the wage rate you will be stuck with, for the life of your claim. If it isn’t right, then timely protest the order in writing and insist the claims manager get it right. Continue to protest or appeal as necessary. If L&I doesn’t get it right, then get a lawyer, before it’s too late.

If you have questions about time loss, contact the office of Washington L&I attorney Chris Sharpe today.

What’s Next?