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Workers' compensation benefits to increase by 5.5 percent

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July 1, 2019 #19-017

Tumwater – For most workers injured on or before July 1, 2018, time-loss and pension benefit payments will increase by 5.5 percent based on the change in the state's average wage as announced by the Washington State Employment Security Department on June 12. State law requires that benefits be recalculated each year to reflect the change in the state's average wage from the previous calendar year. The results of this recalculation is the cost of living adjustment (COLA).

The COLA for 2019 increases the maximum monthly benefit to $6,530.10, or 120 percent of the state's average monthly wage.

The increase also applies to pension benefits paid to family members of those who died because of a work-related accident or disease.

The increase becomes effective July 1, 2019 for most. There are some exceptions:

  • Certain workers who also receive federal Social Security benefits may not be entitled to this annual COLA.
  • Most workers with an injury date between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019, will receive their first COLA on July 1, 2020.

For claim benefit questions: Claims Communication & Outreach Liaison at 360-902-6280.


For media inquiries: Tim Church, L&I Public Affairs, 360-902-5673.

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