L&I Claim in Washington State: Minimum and Maximum Time-loss Compensation Rates

l-and-i claim max time-loss compensation

If you have an L&I claim in Washington State, then you are probably familiar with time-loss compensation benefits. Most often, time-loss is paid at a base rate of 60%. What does this mean? Take your wages at the time of your work injury or industrial disease. L&I or the self-insured employer pay 60% of those wages while you are recovering from your work injury. However, certain circumstances can affect the exact time-loss payout amount.


Time-loss compensation for family and dependents

There may be percentage increases to the base rate depending on your marital status or dependents. For example, if a work injury claimant is married, then there’s a base rate increase of 5%. Similarly, the rate will increase by 2% for each dependent (up to a maximum of 5 dependents). Therefore, most work injury claimants get from 60% to 75% of their wages for time-loss compensation. Usually, this calculation is simple and straightforward.


Time-loss calculation: More complex situations

However, in some cases, the computation is more complicated. Sometimes, the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) applies a maximum or minimum time-loss rate. More explicitly, L&I applies the maximum rate when the work injury victim makes significantly more than Washington State’s average monthly wage. The maximum rate is based on a percentage over average wage from the prior year.


Maximum L&I claim time-loss compensation rate

This average monthly wage in Washington State is available from the Employment Security Department (ESD). In fact, L&I uses a different percentage every year to determine the maximum time-loss rate. The numbers range from 85% for a very old L&I claim or workers’ compensation claim, to 120% for newer claims. Furthermore, the easiest way to determine the maximum time-loss rate is to look at L&I’s maximum rate table for the year of the work injury.


Minimum L&I claim time-loss compensation rate

In some cases, L&I can apply a minimum time-loss rate. This happens (most commonly) for people who were paid “under the table” for work, so to speak. It also applies for people that suffer an injury at work with limited work history. injured shortly after starting work.


Under RCW 51.32.060, time-loss compensation rates cannot fall under 15% of Washington State’s average monthly wage rate. Therefore, the minimum rate also depends on Washington State’s average monthly rate going back to the year of the work injury. Here, L&I maintains a chart for minimum time-loss rates. In conclusion, work injury claimants whose compensation rate is low must always receive at least 15% of the current Washington State average monthly wage.

9 thoughts on “L&I Claim in Washington State: Minimum and Maximum Time-loss Compensation Rates

  1. I hired my attorney back in 2013 I’ve been paying him about $430 a month till 2018 I got rewarded a pension and my attorney charge me $120,000 and he charged another person that I know $17,000 why is he charging me more my time in her time we’re about the same it lasted five years for me to get a pension and it took her the same she’s older than me

    1. Hello AJ. I don’t know what sort of arrangements your attorney has with you or their other clients. Therefore, I’m unable to answer this question. You should speak with your attorney and ask them.

  2. can a workcomp attorney have my time loss wage checks sent to him and he writes me a check minus 10% for him is this right?? and he hasn’t sent me my loss wage money for over a month. is this right?

    1. Hi Lori. I’m unable to comment about any interactions between you and your attorney. You should review your client agreement to see what you and your attorney agreed on. Also, call your attorney and bring up your issue with them. Communicating with your attorney is always important.

  3. Can an attorney that represents an injured worker in wa state use direct deposit to pay the injured worker his/her time loss? My attorney says not ethical due to it being time loss instead of pension. Is this true

    1. Hi David. Since you are represented by another attorney, according to the Washington State Bar Association rules, I’m unable to answer your question and I need to direct you to speak with your attorney.

  4. Does L& i and self insured follow same formula for finding out how much time loss u will recive

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