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Wage Replacement

Time-loss / wage replacement

If you miss work because of your injury and your doctor certifies you are unable to work, L&I or your self-insured employer may pay for a portion of your lost wages, called "time‑loss compensation."

However, the 3 days in a row of work immediately following your injury are considered a waiting period. L&I or your self-insured employer won't pay for these days, if they are the only ones you miss.

Questions workers have

Does time-loss compensation pay me the same amount I earned as a worker?

No. Time-loss compensation benefits can replace some — but not all — of the wages you were earning. The benefit amount is 60 to 75% of the wage you were earning (up to a limit), depending on how many dependents you have.

Find more information in the:

Because of legislation (331 KB PDF) ( passed in 2009, time-loss compensation benefits for new claims filed for industrial injuries or illnesses that occur on or after the effective date (December 3, 2009) by individuals in State Registered Domestic Partnerships ( will be calculated at the same rate as for married persons and will include benefits for any eligible dependent children. This change doesn't apply to existing claims or to new claims for industrial injuries or illnesses that pre-date the effective date.

Persons in common law marriages or in unregistered domestic partnerships aren't considered married under the workers' compensation laws. Compensation for these individuals will be calculated based on a family status of single and will include any eligible dependent children.

The child's portion of time-loss compensation benefits must be paid to the person who has legal custody of your child or children. Notify your claim manager of any change in the custody of your child or children so the benefits can be paid to the appropriate individual.

When do I begin receiving my time-loss checks? How long will they continue?

If you are eligible, and no further information is needed, your first check is mailed within 14 days from the date L&I or your self-insured employer receives notice from your doctor that you are off work.

Checks are mailed about every 2 weeks or bimonthly, as long as:

  • Your doctor certifies that you cannot work (supported by objective medical findings).
  • Your claim manager receives your signed Worker Verification Form (F242‑052‑000). Your self-insured employer may require you complete a similar form.
What happens if I don't cash my benefit check?

Uncashed benefit checks expire after 180 days. You can ask L&I to reissue an expired check, but only if it has been less than 2 years since the issue date. After that, you'll need to contact the Department of Revenue to file a claim for unclaimed property.

Is time-loss compensation taxable?

No. The IRS considers time-loss compensation to be a disability benefit, not earned income.

Did you know?

Time-loss compensation benefits won't cover all of your lost wages, only a fraction. Plus, it requires your medical provider's ongoing certification. Ask your employer if there are other jobs you can do to earn your wage or salary while you recover.

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