Answers to frequently asked questions about time-loss compensation, such as how do you qualify for it, how much do you get, how long does it last, and is it taxable.
Does time-loss compensation pay me the same amount I earned as a worker?
No. Time-loss compensation benefits can replace some -- but not all -- of the wages you were earning. The benefit amount is 60% to 75% of the monthly wage you were earning (up to a limit), depending on whether you're married and how many dependents you have. Determining an average monthly wage can be a subject for controversy because people are paid under many different arrangements that sometimes do not fall neatly under the categories L&I uses to calculate wages. A lawyer can certainly help in this area to make an argument for the highest rate you are entitled to. Time-loss compensation also requires your medical provider's ongoing certification.
Registered Domestic Partners, Unregistered Domestic Partners, Common Law Marriages
Time-loss compensation benefits for new claims filed for industrial injuries or illnesses that occur on or after December 3, 2009 by individuals in State Registered Domestic Partnerships are calculated at the same rate as for married persons and include benefits for any eligible dependent children. This doesn't apply to existing claims or to new claims with dates of injury before December 3, 2009. People in common law marriages or in unregistered domestic partnerships aren't considered married under the workers' compensation laws. Compensation for these people will be calculated as if they were single but will include any eligible dependent children. The child's portion of time-loss compensation benefits must be paid to the person who has legal custody of your child or children. Notify your claim manager of any change in the custody of your child or children so the benefits can be paid to the right person.
When do I begin receiving my time-loss checks? How long will they continue?
If you are eligible, and no further information is needed, your first check is mailed within 14 days from the date L&I or your self-insured employer receives notice from your doctor that you are off work. This is generally sent by your doctor in the form of an "Activity Prescription Form" or APF. Checks are mailed about every 2 weeks or bimonthly, as long as: Your doctor certifies that you cannot work (supported by objective medical findings). Your claim manager receives your signed Worker Verification Form each month. Your self-insured employer may require you complete a form similar to a Worker Verification Verification.
What happens if I don't cash my benefit check?
Uncashed benefit checks expire after 180 days. You can ask L&I to reissue an expired check, but only if it has been less than 2 years since the issue date. After that, you'll need to contact the Department of Revenue to file a claim for unclaimed property.
Is time-loss compensation taxable?
No. The IRS considers time-loss compensation to be a disability benefit, not earned income.
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