Getting injured in Washington State (especially in areas where the cost of living is higher) can be a financial disaster. L&I or private insurance time-loss compensation (the monetary benefit paid when you are incapable of working because of your injury or disease) is only a percentage of what you were making at the time of injury. We already discussed this issue here.
For a single person with no dependents, the percentage is just 60% of what you were making at the time of injury. The percentage increases slightly for those who are married and have dependents, but it rarely covers actual household expenses. This income loss often means injured workers in Washington State cannot afford mortgages, rents, and other necessary cost of living expenses.
I am frequently asked whether moving out of the area is an option. Many injured workers don’t realize they are free to live wherever they choose. Simply because you have a Washington State workers’ compensation claim does not mean you have to stay in Washington. While all of the same rules for obtaining benefits still apply out of State, I’ve represented many injured workers who have relocated in order to achieve a better quality of life while recovering.