2017 Workers' Compensation COLA Amount

In an earlier blog post, I talked about increases in workers' compensation time loss and pension benefits due to cost of living adjustments (COLAs). For July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018, the COLA is 4.8%.

Here is the release from L&I about the increase, available at http://ni.wa.gov/News/2017/pr170630a.asp :

Workers' compensation benefits to increase by 4.8 percent

June 30, 2017

Tumwater – For most workers injured on or before July 1, 2016, time-loss and pension benefit payments will increase by 4.8 percent based on the change in the state's average wage (esd.wa.gov), as announced by the Department of Employment Security on June 28.

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

As a result of the increase, the new maximum monthly benefit will be $5,895.70, or 120 percent of the state's average monthly wage.

The increase becomes effective July 1, 2017.

There are some exceptions:

  • Certain injured workers who also receive federal Social Security benefits may not be entitled to this annual cost-of-living increase.
  • Most workers with an injury date between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, will receive their first COLA on July 1, 2018.

For media information: Elaine Fischer at 360-902-5413.

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