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Wrongful Termination/Discrimination and the Industrial Insurance Act

If you are injured on the job, you may be protected against either wrongful termination or discriminatory practices by your employer. Washington State is an “at will” state, which means in simple terms that an employer can terminate you for any reason, and you can quit for any reason. However, there are still legal protections for workers who are injured […]

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Medical Treatment in a Workers Compensation, Industrial Injury, or Occupational Disease Claim

There are often stumbling blocks placed in front of injured workers when they’re trying to get medical treatment. Some of the Obstacles Can Include: That the condition being treated is not proximately caused by the Industrial injury/disease; That the treatment proposed is not reasonable and necessary; That the Industrially related conditions have reached maximum medical improvement. Employers, and sometimes the […]

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Your Right to Re-Open Your Workers Compensation Claim

Generally speaking, once a Worker’s Compensation claim is closed, a worker has the right to reopen that claim if the condition objectively worsens. There are some time limits that apply. If you applied to reopen within seven years of the closure of your claim, you have a right to obtain further medical treatment, consideration of time loss benefits, consideration of […]

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Determining Time Loss Rate for Work-Related Injury

The rate at which time loss benefits are calculated is affected by the number of “children” the worker had at the time of injury. By statute, an injured worker is entitled to an increase in their timeless benefit of 2% of their wages at the time of injury, for any child dependent they had at the time of the industrial […]

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A Worker’s Right to Choose Their Attending Physician

Under Washington law anyone injured in the course of his or her employment has a right to choose who will treat them. There are some employers, and sometimes situations in dealing with the Department of Labor and industries, where a particular treating source is recommended to the worker. Some employers will go as far as telling an injured worker/employee that […]

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Social Security Offset of Worker’s Compensation

In Washington State, RCW 51.32.220 allows for the offset of two types of monetary benefits if an individual receives payments for Social Security Disability. Those two state benefits are temporary total disability and permanent total disability, colloquially known as time loss and pension. Notice that the statute does not permit the state to reduce awards for permanent partial disability, colloquially […]

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Is It Necessary To Participate In Vocational Rehabilitation For Worker’s Compensation?

Social Security Found Me Disabled, Do I Really Have to Participate in Vocational Rehabilitation for Worker’s Compensation? The question seems to imply the answer: if Social Security already found you disabled, there is no reason why vocational rehabilitation should be necessary for your worker’s compensation claim. After all, you’ve already been found disabled by the Federal Government. Unfortunately, it isn’t […]

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Shortcomings of the Department of Labor and Industries

Did you know if you are injured on the job such that you cannot shop or feed yourself, whether due to paralysis or other injury, you will not get help from the Department of Labor and Industries without fighting in court? During a recent pro-bono case it was learned that the Department refused to provide basic average daily living services […]

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Time loss Calculations – Worker’s Compensation

An area of contention that frequently arises between an injured worker and the Department of Labor and industries, or a self-insured employer, has to do with how their time loss benefits are calculated. A statute declares that time loss is to be based upon the worker’s wages or earnings at the time of their industrial injury. Another statute, in defining […]

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Mediation of Appeals at Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals

Whenever someone files an appeal from an order entered by the Department of Labor and Industries, the appeal is filed with the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals. In its process of handling the appeals, the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals will assign a judge to act as a “mediator”. As a mediator, the judge has no power to decide the […]

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