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How to Settle a Washington State Labor and Industries Claim

What is an L&I Settlement?

An L&I settlement is money paid at claim closure. There are three types:

  • PERMANENT PARTIAL DISABILITY (PPD). Lump sum money for someone who can return to work. Most L&I settlements are PPD settlements. Click for more information: Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
  • PENSION. Lifetime monthly payments for someone who will never return to work again. It is the best possible settlement; the equivalent of time loss for the rest of your life. Click for more information: Pension
  • STRUCTURED SETTLEMENT(CRSSA). A settlement for someone who doesn’t need their L&I claim. A CRSSA trades away most of the L&I claim for a modest settlement. These settlements are usually not fair. Click for more information: Claims Resolutions Structured Settlement Agreements (CRSSA)

What is the amount of Settlement Money I will Get for My L&I Permanent Partial Disability?

  • The amount of PPD settlement money varies with the date of injury, the seriousness of the disability, whether you have any liens or over payments 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. Your scheduled amount is in part based on your date of injury .
  • The  seriousness of your disability is measured by your impairment rating. Your impairment rating is done by IME doctors and/or your doctor. It makes a difference who does your rating. Pay attention and help yourself. See Independent Medical Examinations (IME)
  • How to help yourself – see Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) L&I Settlement
  • See the L&I Settlement Video for more information.

When and How is an L&I PPD Settlement Paid?

L&I PPD settlement amounts are awarded at claim closure.

  • Small Settlements – If the award amount is less than three times the state’s average monthly wage at the date of injury, a check for that amount is sent at claim closure.
  • Larger Settlements – If the award exceeds  more than three times the state’s average monthly wage at the date of injury, a down payment of that amount is made. The balance of the award is paid in monthly installments equal to the worker’s monthly time-loss compensation (at the time of closure).

L&I Attorney Chris Sharpe Explains Other L&I Benefits Besides Settlement Money.

There are many other L&I benefits which are not settlements.  Here is my list of the most important benefits. Get the benefits you deserve while your claim is open  L&I Benefits Summary

Can I Reopen After a Settlement?

Yes you can reopen your claim closure if you have a worsening of your medical condition. For deadlines and other considerations see Reopening your claim 

What If I Don’t Like my Settlement Amount?

Do something about it. You can do it yourself, How To Disagree With An L&I Decision, or you can get a lawyer. If you want to talk to a lawyer Contact us, and don’t wait until its too late. There is a 60 day deadline to protest or appeal the order setting your PPD and closing your claim. Don’t miss your deadline to protest or appeal.

What is the Permanent Partial Disability Settlement Calculator?

The settlement calculator is the L&I Disability Awards Charts.

  • A Permanent Partial Disability Settlement is calculated as part of the claim closing process. 
  • Your impairment is rated by a doctor as a percent of amputation value or a category of bodily impairment and then your claim is closed.
  • No settlement money until after you have an open claim, get medical care, become employable, get a rating exam and L&I closes the claim. At claim closure L&I proposes an award, a permanent partial disability award.
  • The calculations occur when converting the rating exam to settlement dollars. Use the Permanent Partial Disability Award Charts to see the dollar figures.

Can I Cash a PPD Check and Ask for More Settlement Money?

Yes, you can cash a PPD check and ask for more. You ask for more by appealing or protesting the closing order before the 60 day deadline passes.

How Do I Settle My L&I Claim?

  • The Claim Process goes like this: Injury ⇒file claim ⇒get benefits ⇒become employable or not ⇒claim closes with or without settlement money.
  • You Can Do This, in part because L&I is going to push your claim toward closure.
  • Take Control of Your Claim don’t let L&I push you into a bad settlement. Help them guide your claim in the right direction. Get your benefits and help them give you a good settlement.
  • The Key to the Quality of Your Settlement is the quality of the medical information in your claim file.
    • If you will never work again get information to prove a pension in your file.
    • If you will or have returned to work get information to prove Permanent Partial Disability into your file.

Just do it. If you need help  getting started, check out Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) L&I Settlement. If you don’t know what to do, you may wish to talk to an L&I attorney.  Get informed and make good decisions.

Show Me How an L&I Settlement Works (Alvin’s Story)

An example of how L&I PPD is calculated and paid.

Alvin is our injured worker. Alvin loses part of his little finger at work in August of 2009. Alvin finishes his medical care, returns to work, and is sent by his claims manager to an IME for a rating. The IME doctor concludes Alvin has lost 50% of his little finger. The claims manager goes to the WAC PPD schedule in effect for August 09 and sees that a little finger in 2009 has a PPD impairment value of $4,897.35. 50% of that is $2,448.67. The claims manager closes Alvin’s claim by order, and sends Alvin a check for $2,448.67.

Does it matter how the injury affects your life and function?

Was it fair that Alvin lost half a finger and got $2,448.67? You decide; but think about this. What about two different Alvins? What if Alvin the Brut is a pro football lineman and doesn’t need his finger. – Fair? What if Alvin the Virtuoso is a concert pianist who needs this finger but now because he lost his finger he can no longer work at the job he’d practiced all his life for. Is that fair? Understand this: the L&I PPD system doesn’t care who you are, a 50% little finger PPD is the same for everyone; it doesn’t matter how much the injury affects you.

What about fault and my job injury?

Does it make any difference if football Alvin was at fault for stupidly injuring his finger in a careless drunken post game celebration when he broke a bottle of champagne over his head and cut his finger? What if pianist Alvin lost his finger through no fault of his own, when his employer dropped the grand piano cover on his finger?  They both get the same amount. Fault doesn’t matter, because L&I is a no fault system.

How to get a fair L&I PPD settlement.

So how do you and Alvin the piano player get a fair PPD settlement? Alvin hires a Sharpe L&I lawyer who gets a better PPD rating by sending Alvin to a real doctor for thoughtful and accurate finger rating of 90%. Sharpe lawyer also recognizes Alvin’s depression over losing his finger and his job. Alvin gets mental health treatment for depression and a category III rating, worth $45,346.55. Alvin also is advised to take advantage of vocational rehabilitation and is trained in a new career as a band leader. Happy ending, or at least fair, considering the constraints of the system.

Want to get a fair settlement?  Contact us

Can a Washington State L&I Lawyer Help Me?

A free phone consultation with an L&I lawyer will answer that question. A smart L&I lawyer 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 the Sharpe Law Firm always are free. We can help you plan a smart course of action to get the best possible settlement.   Contact us. 

What is an L&I Pension?

If you cannot work again, and you can prove it, a pension will pay you time loss for the rest of your life. If you think this would help you, look at our Pension Video. 

L&I PPD Settlement Video.

Learn more about L&I PPD Settlements and view our SETTLEMENT VIDEO

Want More Information?

L&I Benefit Information
Permanent Partial Disability Settlement
WA L&I PPD Settlement Rules
Permanent Partial Disability Award Charts
How To Disagree With An L&I Decision

How to Contact Us:

Telephone – Call for information or a free strategy session – 206-343-1988

Email Tell us Your Story – Ask your questions via email

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