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A Guide to Determining Eligibility for Workers' Compensation Benefits

Posted by Foster Law on September 22, 2014

Find out whether you’re eligible to receive workers’ comp in Washington State.

Were you injured while working in the State of Washington? If so, you may be eligible for Washington workers' compensation benefits. Getting hurt at work can be painful and costly. Missing work due to an injury on the job only exacerbates the problem. Workers' comp benefits may include the payment of medical treatment, lost wages, compensation for partial permanent impairment, vocational rehabilitation, and more.

Washington State Workers' Compensation Laws

Washington State is one of four states that are monopolistic, or in other words, the state government rather than a private insurance company is the insurer. Employers with one or more employees are required to have workers' compensation insurance for their employees. Sole providers, partners, managers of limited liability companies, and corporate officers may elect to exclude themselves from workers' compensation coverage requirements.

In order to obtain workers' compensation insurance in Washington State, employers have two options: participate in the state workers' compensation insurance program or become self-insured. Typically, large companies choose to self-insure. Injured employees working for self-insured employers are entitled to the same workers' compensation benefits as employees who file a claim with the state workers' compensation insurance program, which is operated by Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).

There are two types of workers' compensation claims: industrial injury and occupational disease. Industrial injury is a sudden event, while occupational disease is a condition that arises over time. An employee must submit a claim application within one year of the injury or within two years of a doctor's diagnosis of an occupational disease to L&I or the self-insured employer.

Medical providers of workers covered through L&I are required to submit a report of industrial injury or an occupational disease report. Medical providers of workers with self-insured employers are required to submit a self-insurer accident report to the employer. The medical provider is required to submit an activity prescription form in the event that the employee is unable to return to work.

Selecting a Medical Provider

Employees can choose their own medical providers. If an employee isn't satisfied with the care provided, he or she can switch to a different medical provider. An employee can also obtain a second opinion if the claims administrator approves it. Workers' compensation covers all necessary medical care, and there are no time or monetary limitations on medical benefits. If an employer demands that an employee see a company doctor, the employee should seek advice from a Washington workers' compensation attorney right away.

If you are injured on the job, seek medical attention right away and inform the medical provider that you were injured on the job. Promptly alert your employer of the injury. This will give your employer time to learn the details of the situation and respond quickly after receiving your L&I claim paperwork.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a WA Workers' Compensation Lawyer

If you have suffered a work-related injury or impairment, don't hesitate to contact Foster Law, P.C. Our knowledgeable Washington workers' compensation attorneys will guide you through the claims process and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. We have a great deal of experience obtaining benefits for workers who have been injured on the job. Call us today at 206-682-3436 to schedule a free consultation.

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