Understanding Washington State Workers’ Compensation Insurance Policies


If you are injured or ill, your employer must pay you workers’ compensation benefits. Employers with just one employee are legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. In exchange for having the right to file a worker’s compensation claim, you give up your right to file negligence claims against your employer if you are injured while working.

Worker’s compensation is a no-fault system. You do not have to prove that your employer caused your injury or illness through negligence. Most workplace injuries and illnesses will be covered under this no-fault scheme. This is intended to speed up the process of receiving benefits without having to file a lawsuit with a lawyer like Lehmbecker Law Firm for example against your employer, while at the same time, your employer is not required to admit any fault.

When you are injured at work or become ill because of your job, you must report it to your employer within a specific time frame. Your employer must report this to their workers’ compensation insurance company. Once your claim is submitted, your employer and provider will have a set time limit to accept or deny it.

Death benefits are available to their dependents if an employee dies due to a work-related injury or illness. The definition of who is a dependent can include non-family members, such as a boyfriend or girlfriend, as long as they live in the same household. Before death benefits are paid, the employer’s insurance company such as washington state workers compensation insurance will likely conduct a thorough investigation, including anyone claiming to be a dependent.

What Types of Benefits Are Available to Me?

There may be five types of workers’ compensation benefits available to you:

Medical Care: These benefits cover payments for all medical expenses you incur in connection with your injury or illness. These include doctor visits, the cost of prescription medications, rehabilitation costs, and other related medical costs.

Your health care benefits must be available to you throughout your workers’ compensation case and, in some cases, even after your case is over. In turn, you will not have to pay co-pays or deductibles or use your own insurance.

Temporary Total Disability: If your work-related injury or illness temporarily incapacitates you and you cannot work, you may receive up to two-thirds of your weekly income, subject to minimums and maximums established by law. These benefits may be available for up to two years or 104 weeks.

Permanent Disability: If your work-related injury or illness permanently disables you, you may be entitled to these benefits. A doctor must determine the percentage of disability that prevents you from performing your specific job duties to determine if you qualify. You can receive up to two-thirds of your salary, also subject to the minimums and maximums established by law.

Supplemental Work Benefits: It pays for new training or education so you can transition into a job where you can perform your tasks. These benefits are intended for employees who cannot return to their previous positions due to injuries or illnesses. This may mean training for a new job at a different company or a move to a new position with your current employer.

Death Benefits: They are available to a spouse, minor child, or other dependent of an employee who died due to a workplace accident or illness resulting from the nature of their work. Several factors are considered in the formula used to calculate benefits payable to qualified beneficiaries.