Beginning on July 1, 2009 self-insured employers in Washington will face a number of changes in workers’ compensation wage-replacement or pension benefits.
1. Employers will now pay for a 3.432% cost-of-living incease to injured workers compensation wage-replacement or pension benefits. Washington State law requires benefits be recalculated each year to reflect the change in the state’s average wage from the previous calendar year. The July 1 increase applies to both State Fund and self-insured employers.
2. The amount the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) pays for a permanent partial disability (PPD) also inceases. The annual increase is based on the change in the Consumer Price Index and PPD awards will rise 4.09% for workplace injuries incurred July 1 and beyond. PPD awards go to workers who have lost a body part or suffered a permanent, disabling injury.
3. Under Washington’s workers’ comp system, injured workers receive from 60% to 75% of their income, up to the legally set maximum, tax free, while they are off the job and recovering. The percentage of income is based on their marital status and number of dependents. For workers injured in 2008, the average monthly time-loss paid was about $1,890.
4. The recalculation of benefits is based on the average annual wage of all workers in Washington. That wage, calculated by the Employment Security Department, rose to $46,256 in 2008, an increase of 3.432% since 2007.
5. As a result, the new maximum monthly benefit will be $4,625, or 120% of the state’s average monthly wage, for workers injured after June 30, 1996. Less than 4% of L&I claimants receiving wage-replacement benefits collect the maximum.
6. Maximum benefits differ depending on when an injury occurred because, in 1996, the state Legislature increased the percentage of the state’s average wage used to set the maximum benefit level.
7. Time-loss payments partially compensate workers for lost wages due to a job-related injury or illness.
8. Pension benefits are paid when a work-related injury or illness causes a worker to be totally and permanently disabled. (workersxzcompxzkit)
9. Pensions also are paid to a worker’s surviving spouse and dependent children when a workplace accident or illness results in death.
Author: Robert Elliott, J.D.
Visit Our Websites:
Reduce Your Workers Comp: www.ReduceYourWorkersComp.com/
Workers Comp Kit: www:workerscompkit.com/
Try Our FREEï¿½
WC Best Practices Quick Check: http://www.workerscompkit.com/intro/
See Our: Workers’ Compensation Toolkit: Corner.advisen.com/wc
Workers’ Comp Kit Books & Guides: Corner.advisen.com/wcbooks
More FREE tools to try:
WC Calculator: www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/calculator.php
WC 101: www.ReduceYourWorkersComp.com/workers_comp.php
Follow Us On Twitter: www.twitter.com/WorkersCompKit
View the Entire Blog: https://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/
Do not use this information without independent verification.
All state laws vary.
©2008 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@WorkersCompKit.com