L&I Pension – Permanent Total Disability

L&I pension payments

When the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) places a work injury claimant on a pension, then their L&I claim is closed. However, the injured worker receives pension benefits for the rest of his life, as long as he remains unemployed. L&I pays pension benefits monthly, around the 15th of each month. The amount depends on the worker’s salary and wages at the time of the injury. Also, if the worker is married, then he or she can elect to have his or her spouse receive survivor benefits. Simply put, “survivor benefits” means that if the work injury claimant passes, her spouse will receive pension benefits. Under certain circumstances, this election may also affect the amount of the L&I monthly pension.

Total permanent disability

There are many factors to consider when determining if a work injury claimant is totally and permanently disabled. These factors include the following considerations, among others:

1) The worker’s work pattern at the time of the injury: part-time employment, full-time employment, seasonal worker, etc.

2) If the work accident, injury or occupational disease produces permanent physical or mental limitations.

3) Were there pre-existing permanent (physical or mental) limitations?

4) The working capacity of the person.

5) The local labor market.

6) The strengths and weaknesses of the worker.

7) The age, education, training, and experience of the work injury claimant.

Based on these factors, L&I may consider the workplace injury claimant to be permanently and totally disabled. Even if a person is not physically or mentally defenseless, he can still qualify. However, we must remember that an injured worker is not permanently totally disabled just because he cannot return to his previous job. In fact, if the worker can successfully and continuously perform or obtain any paid job, then he is employable.

Employability: Are you employable?

The Department of Labor and Industries places a high value on employability, for a variety of reasons. From my perspective, there are some problems with the way L&I views and assesses employability. In my opinion, saying that someone is employable on paper is not the same as how things manifest in the real world. Additionally, it is not uncommon for employability determinations to be based on erroneous or insufficient medical or vocational testing.

Get help from the L&I lawyer

The way I see it, most people with a workers’ compensation claim recover from their injuries or illnesses and return to work. However, there are many people with L&I claims who need assistance getting back to work. Comparatively, only a small number of workplace injury claimants have a permanent and total disability. If you have an L&I claim or a workers’ compensation claim, and the claims administrator says it can be used when it isn’t, then you should speak to a workers’ compensation attorney right away.

This article was first published at https://tarareck.com/l-and-I-pension/

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