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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:

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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