Employer Assistance Program

Can't pay your workers' comp premiums? We can help.


To help businesses during hard times, L&I can work with financially distressed employers impacted by the economy, natural disasters or other serious problems, to arrange a payment plan for workers' compensation premiums. Employers with a good payment record who have not paid their most recent quarterly premiums should call the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) for help.

L&I started the Employer Assistance Program in the spring of 2009, during the worst part of the recession, after discovering about 13,000 employers were delinquent on their workers' comp premiums 60 percent of whom had accounts that had been in good standing for a long time.

Since then, L&I has helped thousands of employers catch up on their overdue premiums.

Who qualifies for the Employer Assistance Program?

  • The program allows an employer with a good payment history to ask for a 90-day "same as cash" payment plan. No interest. No penalties.
  • A good payment history typically means no delinquent quarterly payments in the past four years.
  • L&I also offers payment plans to employers with less-than-perfect payment histories. However, these plans do not qualify for the 90-day "same as cash" payment mentioned above.

How does the program work?

  • L&I waives late penalties and interest if qualifying employers pay their premiums within 90 days. Penalties and interest may be applied for longer payment periods.
  • Employers must also pay future quarterly premium payments by the regular deadline, which is 30 days after the end of each quarter.
  • In some cases, the payment plan can be renegotiated if an employer goes deeper into financial distress.

How do I take advantage of the program?

In order to better serve businesses, L&I asks employers to call in advance if they know they won't be able to make a quarterly premium payment.

Contact your L&I account manager. Here are four ways to find their phone number:

You may also call the L&I Small Business Liaison office at 1-800-987-0145 or contact them by email at SmallBusiness@Lni.wa.gov.

If I am a retro employer and owe premiums or assessments, can I participate in the Employer Assistance Program?

Yes. Retro participation requires an employer to be "in good standing" with any debt owed to L&I. As long as you have been approved for the Employer Assistance Program and your payments are current and comply with your payment plan, you can continue to take part in the Retro Program.


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