April 26, 2013

WAGES: How does the Department of Labor and Industries calculate my time-loss rate?

The Industrial Insurance Act defines monthly wages as the earnings the worker was receiving from all employment at the time of injury (or the date of manifestation of an occupational disease). Wages must also include the reasonable value of board, housing fuel, or other consideration of a like nature received from the employer as part of the contract of hire. If the injured worker has a second job at the time of injury or date of manifestation, the earnings from the additional employment must also be included when computing the worker’s gross monthly wage. This provision of the Industrial Insurance […]
April 2, 2013

SIXTY DAYS: The deadline that should not be overlooked

You were injured at work or you developed an occupational disease and you filed an application for benefits. Under RCW 51.52.050, whenever the Department issues an order, decision, or award regarding a claim, it must be promptly communicated to the worker, beneficiary, employer, or any other person affected by it. In order for communication to be effective, typically the law requires that the Department’s order, decision, or award be sent to the worker (or implicitly his/her authorized representative) at his/her last known address “as shown by the records of the department.” RCW 51.52.050. However, if the worker, beneficiary, employer, or […]
March 22, 2013

INJURED AT WORK: What do I do now?

In the State of Washington, claims arise in two ways: (1) because of an industrial injury or (2) because of the development of an occupational disease. With rare exception, suing the employer is not an option if a worker suffers a traumatic injury at work or develops an occupational disease. Instead, injured workers must file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits pursuant to the Industrial Insurance Act. The difference between an industrial injury and an occupational disease is that an injury occurs as the result of a sudden and tangible event at work whereas an occupational disease develops naturally and […]
February 15, 2013

ATTENDING PHYSICIAN: The Role of the Attending Physician in Workers’ Compensation Claims

When a covered worker is injured at work or develops an “occupational disease” (for instance, carpal tunnel syndrome or other repetitive stress injury) caused or aggravated by distinctive conditions of his or her employment, the injured worker is entitled to receive proper and necessary medical and surgical services at the hands of a physician or licensed advanced registered nurse practitioner of his or her own choosing so long as the medical provider is an authorized member of L&I’s new Medical Provider Network. The physician or licensed advanced registered nurse practitioner who is generally responsible for treating the injured worker and […]
January 31, 2013

THE MEDICAL PROVIDER NETWORK HAS ARRIVED: Some important information about the MPN and how it impacts Washington State workers’ compensation claims

Is your medical provider in network? Lately the number one question on the minds of Washington State’s injured workers, their attorneys, and their medical providers seems to be, is your doctor in network? This is because effective January 1, 2013, injured workers may only treat with providers who are in the Department of Labor and Industries’ new Medical Provider Network (MPN). What is the MPN? The Medical Provider Network is a group of medical providers who the Department has approved to provide medical treatment to injured workers in our state. In order to continue treating their injured worker patients after […]
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