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Washington State Department of Labor and Industries’ (L&I) Stay at Work Program


Washington’s L&I department has offered a Stay at Work program for the last few years, but many businesses are not taking advantage of the benefits that are offered.
If an employee is injured on the job, the Stay at Work program is designed to help a company put the employee to work in a light-duty or transitional job until they are able to perform their normal duties.

There are several requirements to the program, but many benefits as well, including possibly avoiding a compensatory claim, which can affect L&I rates. Only companies that pay workers’ compensation premiums to L&I qualify for the program, so self-insured employers will not be able to access these benefits.

If an employee is injured, the employer will work with the health-care provider to outline the best available work that can meet the physical requirements of the employee and receive written approval from the provider. The employer must also continue to provide health-care benefits that the worker had previously, unless they are inconsistent with the employer’s benefit program.

L&I provides companies the following benefits:

– 50% of the injured worker’s base wages for up to 66 days within a 24 month period.
The maximum is $10,000 per claim,
– Training fees or materials up to $1,000 per claim (including tuition, books and supplies),
– Tools up to $2,500 per claim, and
– Clothing up to $400 per claim.

A company can file a claim within 12 months of incurring eligible expenses, so it may be possible to receive benefits today for injuries that occurred last year. Details regarding this program can be found at: http://www.lni.wa.gov/Main/StayAtWork/.