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Impairment Ratings and Disability Certification

You may be rated for a permanent partial disability before L&I closes the claim.


When you have completed treatment but have suffered a permanent disability, you may qualify for a Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) award. PPD must be rated by a qualified doctor.

Questions workers have

What's a permanent partial disability?

This means you can still work, but your physical ability has been impaired.

Will I lose my eligibility for a disability award if I go back to work?

No. Permanent partial disabilities are based on the degree of your impairment, not on whether you can work.

Do medical benefits and any time-loss compensation continue after I receive a disability award?

No. After the claim is closed, these benefits end (unless the claim is reopened).

Can I get independent advice on disability awards?

Yes - you can call Project HELP at 1-800-255-9752. They are a cooperative effort between L&I and the Washington State Labor Council (AFL-CIO), and can provide you with individual claims assistance on your behalf.

Project HELP staff can assist you with both self-insured and state fund claims, but they are not attorneys and do not give legal advice.

What if I live or move out of state?
  • You may have to return to Washington for an independent medical examination. If needed, L&I or your self-insured employer will pay for your transportation, lodging, meals, and wage replacement for lost wages to attend the exam.

  • Be certified permanently and totally disabled before L&I closes the claim

    Person in a wheelchair

    There are two types of pension:

    1. If you lose (or lose the use of) both legs, both arms, an arm and a leg, or your vision, you are eligible for a monthly pension by law, even if you can return to work.
    2. If, after medical and vocational evaluations, L&I finds that your injury prevents you from ever becoming gainfully employed, you may receive a pension. Contact Us About Pension Benefits for more information.

    Questions workers have

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