Loss of Earning Power (LEP)

What is LEP?

Loss of earning power is partial time loss. It is also called temporary partial disability

LEP is authorized by statute and can be found at  RCW 51.32.090(3)

Who Gets LEP?

A worker is eligible for LEP when:

  1. The L&I claim is still open and
  2. The worker has returned to the work force and is receiving wages and
  3. The workers wages are now less than 95% of the wages they earned at the time of injury and
  4. Medical opinion certifies that the loss of earning power is due to the injury or occupational disease

Other situations where worker may be entitled to LEP

  1. Returns to work at a lower wage.
  2. Has more than one job at the time of injury and is restricted from performing one of the jobs even if it is not the job of injury.
  3. Returns to work but is unable to work at the premium or higher rates they normally work.
  4. Returns to work at regular wage but less hours, this includes workers that return to full time, i.e. 40 hours per week, but prior to their injury or occupational disease were regularly working overtime

How to Calculate LEP.

  • There are two ways to calculate LEP
    • Method-A also known as the old method, is used on all claims with a date of injury prior to May 7, 1993. The method-A; benefit is determined by multiplying the LEP percentage by the time loss rate. Method-A is rarely used.
    • Method-B also know as the new method, can be used on claims with a date of injury on or after May 7, 1993. Use whichever method is higher with some exceptions for high wage earners (see statute). Most all LEP claims are calculated using method-B. The calculation is 80% of the difference between the wage of injury and the loss of earning power wages. It looks like this:
      • Wage of injury minus wage during LEP period equals the difference
      • Difference times .8 equals benefit amount
  • LEP Calculations can be tricky.  In a  simple case four separate numbers are necessary to do the calculations:
  1. Wages on the date of injury, updated with increases to what that job would pay as of the dates being calculated
  2. Current Wages
  3. Time Loss Rate
  4. State’s average wage x 1.5

LEP calculations can be complex:

  • if the worker had multiple jobs on the date of injury
  • if overtime was part of the date of injury job
  • if health care benefits or employer contributions have been discontinued
  • if it is claimed light duty has been refused
  • if L&I insists on enforcing their incorrect “medical fixity” or “objective findings” requirements
  • if dependents are involved and are under the custody of another person

Further details of LEP Calculations can be found here LEP Claims Guidelines.

When Do LEP Payments End?

LEP payments end when your L&I claim closes, or if the loss of earnings ends.

L&I LEP Form

Apply for LEP by using the Application for LEP Compensation

How to Contact Us

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Chris Sharpe

Chris Sharpe

Christopher Sharpe is the go to attorney for injured persons. His law firm is helpful, honest, and knowledgeable about workers' compensation and personal injury law in the State of Washington. Chris has been helping injured Washington State workers for over 40 years. He has built his practice on thoroughly educating, honestly helping, and successfully representing workers throughout Washington State.

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