L&I Pension – Permanent Total Disability

L&I pension payments

When the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) places a work injury claimant in 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 wages and salaries at the time of the injury. Also, if the worker is married, then he can choose to have his spouse receive survivor benefits. Simply put, “survivor benefits” means that if the work injury claimant dies, his or her spouse will receive pension benefits. In certain circumstances, this choice may also affect L & I’s monthly pension amount.

Permanent total disability

There are many factors to consider when determining whether 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, full-time, seasonal worker, etc.

2) If the work-related accident, injury or illness causes permanent physical or mental limitations.

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

4) Salaried 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, they can still fall low on the grades. However, we must remember that an injured worker does not have a permanent total disability just because he cannot return to his previous job. In fact, if the worker can perform or obtain paid work successfully and continuously, then he is employable.

Employability: Are you employable?

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

Get help from an L&I attorney

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 help getting back to work. Comparatively, only a small number of workplace injury claimants are permanently and totally disabled. If you have an L&I claim or a workers ‘compensation claim, and the claims administrator tells you that you can be employed when you are not, you should speak with a workers’ compensation attorney immediately.

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