One option to resolve your claim is with a structured settlement. This is when you, L&I, and sometimes your employer, agree to close your claim for a sum of money you would receive in a series of fixed cash payments.

The agreement generally resolves all future benefits except medical. You may still be eligible to receive future medical treatment for conditions allowed on your claim.

Injured workers who are age 50 or over and have an accepted L&I claim at least 180 days old are eligible for a structured settlement.

About Structured Settlements

Who might want a structured settlement?

You might be interested if you:

  • Have an open claim paying time-loss benefits.
  • Have a source of income other than L&I benefits, such as retirement, Social Security, or a pension.
  • Want to return to work, either full- or part-time.
  • Aren’t interested in retraining.

How to apply

If an attorney represents you, discuss the application process with your attorney.

If you do not have an attorney, there are 3 ways to apply for a structured settlement:

  1. Apply online
    1. Complete the online application.
    2. Complete the Structured Settlement Income and Expense Worksheet (F240-007-000). Note: This information will not be part of your claim file and is only for settlement purposes.
  2. Download and print the forms
    1. Complete an Application for Structured Settlement (F240-002-000).
    2. Complete the Structured Settlement Income and Expense Worksheet (F240-007-000).
    3. Return both completed forms by email, mail, or fax.
  3. Contact us for an application packet 
How a settlement works

Who’s involved?

All parties to a claim must agree to a settlement. The parties include L&I, you, and sometimes your employer.

If you have an occupational disease claim, more than one employer may be a party to negotiations.

There are some cases when a State Fund employer is not a party to an agreement:

  • Your claim is no longer affecting your employer’s L&I premiums.
  • The employer cannot be located.
  • The employer is no longer in business.
  • The employer fails to respond, or declines to participate, after being notified of the structured settlement process by L&I and the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA).

Consider seeking advice from legal counsel and/or a financial consultant before entering into a structured settlement. Settlements involve legal procedures and they can have a financial impact on you and your family. It's important for you to be informed of your rights and how a settlement may affect your future livelihood.

You may be contacted by your employer to determine if you have an interest in a structured settlement. Settlement agreements are voluntary and the decision whether to enter into discussions and settlement is up to you.

Settlement process

Settlement discussions can be initiated by either L&I, or by you or the employer submitting an application to L&I. If the claim is appropriate for settlement, we will contact all parties and negotiate specific terms of the settlement.

If all parties agree, L&I will draft the settlement contract, circulates it for signatures and submits the contract to the BIIA for approval. If the BIIA approves the agreement, there is a 30-day revocation period. Any party to the agreement may revoke consent to the settlement for any reason during the revocation period. L&I will continue to manage the claim and pay any benefits you are entitled to throughout the revocation period.

The structured settlement agreement becomes final when the 30-day revocation period ends. Structured settlement payments begin within 14 days after the agreement is final. If closure of the claim is part of the agreement, it is considered closed after the 30-day revocation period ends.

Limitations

Structured settlement law requires periodic payments with certain limits on the amount of each payment:

  • Initial payment: At least 25% of the state's average monthly wage, but no more than 6 times the state's average monthly wage.
  • Subsequent payments: At least 25% of the state's average monthly wage, but no more than 150% the state's average monthly wage.

The settlement agreement does not affect future industrial injury or occupational disease claims, including claims for future death or survivor benefits.

Issues outside of the workers' compensation insurance law (Title 51 RCW), such as employment or discrimination claims and disputes, may not be settled as part of a structured settlement agreement.

Related Resources

Contact Structured Settlements

Mailing address

Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
Structured Settlement Unit
PO Box 44251
Olympia WA 98504-4251