On June 30, 2021, Washington Law Center learned that dozens of our injured worker clients were potentially affected by a…
Washington’s Department or Labor & Industries Cost of Living Adjustment rates for 2020 have been released. We have answered some common questions that came from this most recent L&I time loss benefits and CRSSA rate changes for 2020.
If you have any questions at all about the 2020 L&I rate changes, please feel free to reach out and speak with one of our experienced Labor & Industries attorneys today!
What is the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Labor & Industries Benefits in 2020?
The average annual statewide wage for 2019 in Washington State has been computed by the Employment Security Department to be $69,700. This means that for the period of July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, most injured workers will see their time loss or pension benefits increase by a factor of 1.0673649714 due to the cost of living adjustment (COLA) formula prescribed by RCW 50.04.355.
The Department has also published cumulative and incremental COLA adjustment factors which can be found here.
Why don’t some workers get the L&I Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) to rates in 2020?
Pursuant to RCW 51.32.075, there is no time loss adjustment for dates of injury on or after July 1, 2011 until the second July after the date of injury. However, time loss rates set at either minimum or maximum values will still increase to the new minimum or maximum rate.
What is Washington’s new maximum L&I time loss rate for 2020?
The new maximum time loss rate for work injuries sustained during the period of July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 will be $6,970.00. This represents 120% of the average monthly wage in Washington.
For dates of injury on or after July 1, 1971, an injured worker’s time-loss compensation rate is based on the worker’s gross wage, family status (married or single) and number of dependent children on the date of injury. The formula for determining precise eligibility is found at RCW 51.32.060.
What is Washington’s new minimum L&I time loss rate for 2020?
The minimum time loss rate is equal to 15% of the state’s average monthly wage plus $10 if the worker has a spouse and $10 for each dependent child up to five children, all pursuant to RCW 51.32.090(9)(b).
The average monthly wage in Washington is $5808.33 in 2020 (based on 2019 wages), so the minimum time loss rate is therefore $871.25 for the worker, plus spouse and dependent payments. Rates for prior years can be found here.
What are Washington’s new minimum and maximum CRSSA installment payment amounts for 2020?
Pursuant to RCW 51.04.063(2)(c)(ii), CRSSA installment payments are limited to no less than 25% and no more than 150% of the state’s average monthly wage, except for the initial payment which can be equal to as much as six times the average monthly wage.
For 2020, this means a CRSSA may have an initial payment no greater than $34,849.98 and subsequent installments no greater than $8,712.49 and no smaller than $1,452.09.
If you have any questions about the Department of Labor & Industries’ Cost of Living Adjustment rate change and how they effect your time loss benefits or CRSSA, our experienced L&I attorneys are here to help. We aim to help as many injured worked in the state of Washington as we possible can. If you think we can help, give us a call! Our phone number is: (206) 596-7888.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Spencer Parr is a litigation and trial attorney at Washington Law Center focused primarily in the areas of Labor & Industries claims and injury pension benefits. Before co-founding Washington Law Center, Spencer served in the U.S. Army. He has litigated major issues in the law, represented clients from coast to coast, and dedicated his professional life to assisting the injured and disabled. Click here to learn more about Spencer. View More Labor & Industries and Work Injury Resources.