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Penalties to the Self Insured Employer for Unreasonable Delay

Some employers are self-insured and manage their own workers compensation claims. These self-insured employers are required to pay workers compensation benefits on time. If the self insured employer delays benefits they can be penalized.

Penalties and the amount of the penalty for refusing to pay or delaying benefits are authorized by RCW 51.48.017. This law assesses a penalty of the greater of $500 or 25% of the amount due. Payment is to the injured worker. 

Penalties are for Unreasonable Delay Paying Benefits

The department of Labor and Industries will consider assessing a penalty for unreasonable delay of benefits under the guidelines of WAC 296-15-266.

Delayed Benefits Subject to a Penalty Include

Time loss, loss of earning power, coverage of medical conditions, payment of medical bills, authorization of emergency medical care and permanent partial disability.

A penalty request is made by sending a written request to Labor and Industries.  The director of L&I is required to issue an order within 30 days of your request.

Frequently asked questions about self insured penalties are answered under the Coston Penalty Rule. The Coston legal decision can be found here.

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