December 6, 2013

WORKERS’ COMPENSATIONS: Which Benefits When

If you’ve been injured on the job or have developed an “occupational disease” (for instance, carpal tunnel syndrome or other repetitive stress injury caused or aggravated by distinctive conditions of your employment), you might be wondering which benefits you are entitled to once your claim is allowed. The following is a brief summary of the most common benefits which may be provided once you have an open (or reopened) claim: 1. Treatment: When a covered worker is injured at work or develops an occupational disease because of their job in the State of Washington, he or she is entitled to […]
November 19, 2013

Disability Benefits for Mental Health Conditions:

Typically, industrial injury or occupational disease claims begin with a traumatic physical injury or the development of a physical condition over time from repetitive activity at work. As a result, many benefits payable under the Washington State Industrial Insurance Act are contingent upon the existence of “objective findings” substantiating disability based upon physical injuries or conditions. However, it is not uncommon for injured workers to develop mental health conditions that are causally related to the industrial injury or occupational disease. Unlike physical conditions, medical evidence of objective findings of mental health conditions and the extent of disability stemming from mental […]
August 15, 2013

Disability Benefits for Physical Conditions: The Important Difference between Objective Findings and Subjective Complaints

Disability Benefits for Physical Conditions: The Important Difference between Objective Findings and Subjective Complaints Many benefits payable under the Washington State Industrial Insurance Act are contingent upon the existence of “objective findings.” For example, when completing an Activity Prescription Form (APF) to certify temporary total disability benefits (a.k.a. time loss compensation), attending physicians are required to provide the Department with “Key Objective Finding(s)” from examining the injured worker. A blank APF can be downloaded here: http://www.lni.wa.gov/FormPub/Detail.asp?DocID=2286. Similarly, any assessment of the extent of an injured worker’s industrially-related physical impairment or disability must be supported by medical evidence based at least […]
July 30, 2013

The Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals: Its Purpose and Importance in Workers’ Compensation Appeals

In the State of Washington, the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA) is an independent state agency charged with the responsibility of hearing and deciding appeals from decisions of the Department of Labor and Industries (Department). The BIIA hears three principle types of appeals: (1) industrial insurance or workers’ compensation appeals; (2) appeals from safety citations under the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act; and (3) appeals involving crime victim compensation. The BIIA’s mission is to serve the public by resolving appeals in a consistent, impartial, timely, and efficient manner. According to the BIIA, it is committed to providing a […]
June 13, 2013

OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES: What are they and when should you file a claim?

In the State of Washington, claims may arise in one of two ways: (1) because of an industrial injury or (2) because of the development of an occupational disease. Industrial injuries are often easy to identify because they are the result of a sudden and tangible event that produces the injury. Occupational diseases, on the other hand, may be much more difficult to recognize because they often develop over time. An occupational disease is defined as “such disease or infection as arises naturally and proximately out of employment.” RCW 52.08.140. For a claim for occupational disease to be allowed, an […]
May 31, 2013

TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY: When time-loss compensation benefits are payable

If you’ve been injured on the job or have developed an “occupational disease” and your injury or illness causes you to be unable to work, you may be temporarily totally disabled and entitled to time-loss compensation benefits under your allowed workers’ compensation claim. Temporary total disability is defined as an impairment of the mind or body that renders an injured worker unable to perform or obtain a gainful occupation with a reasonable degree of success and continuity. It is the loss of all reasonable wage-earning capacity. An injured worker is considered totally disabled if he or she is unable to […]
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