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 first 3 days immediately following your injury are considered a waiting period. You will only receive benefits for those days if you are still off work on the 14th day after your injury.

What to expect

  • Time-loss compensation payments will not be as much as your regular paycheck.
    • The benefit amount is 60 to 75% of the wage you were earning, depending on how many dependents you have. The minimum and maximum L&I can pay is set by the state legislature.
    • You may have better options available - ask your employer if there are other jobs you can do to earn your wage or salary while you recover.
  • Your first check will be mailed within 14 days from the date L&I or your self-insured employer receives notice from your doctor that you are unable to work if you are eligible and no further information is needed.
  • Checks are mailed (or sent electronically) twice a month, as long as:
    • Your doctor certifies that you cannot work (supported by objective medical findings).
    • Your claim manager receives your signed Worker Verification Form. Your self-insured employer may require you complete a similar form.
  • If you don’t cash your check, it will 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 will need to contact the Department of Revenue to file a claim for unclaimed property.
    • If your check is lost or stolen, tell your claim manager immediately.
  • No taxes will be withheld. The IRS considers time-loss compensation to be a disability benefit, not earned income, so income tax laws do not apply.