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Permanent Total Disability Benefits

Pension Benefits Attorney

Results-Focused Pension Benefits Attorney in Washington State Fights to Ensure Permanently Disabled Workers Get the Financial Benefits They Deserve in King County, Lewis County, Pierce County, Thurston County, and Throughout WA

One of the most devastating outcomes of a workplace injury or occupational illness is being left permanently unable to work in any kind of job due to disability. Workers who suffer permanent, total disability because of a work-related injury or illness may be entitled to pension benefits. Permanent total disability (PTD) benefits provide monthly financial payments for as long as a worker cannot work due to their total disability. If you can no longer work after a work injury or occupational disease, a pension benefits attorney in Washington state from Smith Duran Law can assist in your case.

For years, our firm has been advocating on behalf of injured workers throughout Washington state. Our attorneys understand the physical and emotional difficulties that you are going through when you have been permanently disabled by a work injury or occupational disease. Our compassionate legal team will not rest until we’ve gotten the justice you deserve in your case. 

When you cannot work because of a work injury or occupational illness, permanent total disability or ‘pension benefits’ can provide you with critical financial assistance. Reach out to Smith Duran Law for a free initial case review to get the legal help you need from a pension benefits attorney in Washington state. 

What Are Pension Benefits in the Washington State Workers’ Compensation System?

If you become permanently and totally disabled from being able to work in any form of gainful employment, Washington state’s workers’ compensation system may entitle you to a monthly pension benefit. Workers can receive permanent total disability or ‘pension benefits’ prior to the closure of their workers’ compensation if:

  • There is sufficient objective medical and vocational evidence to demonstrate that the worker’s work injury or occupational illness prevents them from holding gainful employment, or
  • The worker has lost or lost the use of both legs, both arms, an arm and a leg, or has totally lost their vision

Once a worker is awarded pension benefits, their workers’ compensation claim is closed. If the worker requires further medical benefits for their original work injury or occupational illness, they must first obtain pre-authorization from L&I or have their provider submit a request for authorization for a proposed medical procedure or treatment. Alternatively, the worker can apply to reopen their claim. 

Workers have several options for their pension benefits and must choose one of the options upon being awarded benefits. These options include:

  • Payment of the full pension benefit
  • Payment of a reduced rate, with the same rate paid to the worker’s designated beneficiary upon the worker’s death from causes unrelated to their work injury or occupational disease
  • Payment of a reduced rate, with one-half of the reduced rate paid to the designated beneficiary upon the worker’s death

If you also apply for and begin receiving Social Security disability benefits, your pension benefits from workers’ compensation may be reduced, although you will not receive less than the amount of money you are entitled to receive from workers’ compensation alone. 

L&I (or a self-insured employer) will set aside a pension reserve, which is the amount of money that is estimated to cover the total cost of your pension. However, you will continue to receive pension benefits even if your pension reserve is exhausted. Your pension benefits continue so long as you remain totally disabled and unable to work in gainful employment. You are required to annually certify that you remain disabled, as well as to promptly inform L&I if you return to work. 

In addition to pension benefits, dependent children of workers receiving pension benefits may be entitled to their own monthly pension payments if:

  • They are over the age of 18 and under the age of 23
  • They are enrolled in an accredited vocational or higher education program or school as a full-time student
  • They provide notice of intent between the spring and fall semesters to continue enrollment as a full-time student and provide proof of their full-time enrollment at the start of every school semester or quarter

Dependent pension benefits end when they are no longer attending school full-time, join the military, or become incarcerated.

How Can a Pension Benefits Attorney in Washington State from Smith Duran Law Assist You If You Have Been Permanently Disabled from Gainful Employment

Because a disabled worker can receive pension benefits for years or even decades, L&I only awards these permanent total disability benefits in the most deserving cases. A pension benefits attorney in Washington state from Smith Duran Law can make sure that you get the pension benefits you deserve when your work injury or occupational disease has left you unable to do any kind of gainful employment. Our firm will:

  • Collect medical evidence, including records of your treatment, provider notes, and exam reports
  • Work with your treating providers to persuasively demonstrate your permanent, total disability
  • Protest an L&I denial of your claim for pension benefits or take an appeal to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, if necessary

Contact Our Firm for a Free Case Evaluation to See How a Pension Benefits Attorney in Washington State Can Help You With Your Permanent Total Disability Benefits Claim

If you cannot work in any form of gainful employment due to a work injury or occupational disease, you may be entitled to pension benefits that can provide you with the financial resources you need to cover your living expenses. Contact Smith Duran Law today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a pension benefits attorney in Washington state to learn more about your rights after being permanently, totally disabled. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Pension Benefits in Washington State

Are pension benefits taxable?

Under tax law, pension benefits are not considered earned income and therefore are not taxed. You will not receive a W-2 or 1099 form for the benefit payments you receive.

Can I get medical treatment for a work injury or occupational disease while receiving pension benefits?

If you require additional medical treatment or rehabilitation for a work injury or occupational disease while you are receiving pension benefits, you will need to seek pre-authorization to obtain medical treatment while receiving pension benefits. If you do not have pre-authorization, your treating provider will need to request a treatment order and obtain approval from the Washington Department of Labor & Industries or your self-insured employer before providing the requested treatment.

  • Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

    The Department of Labor and Industries manages claims for injuries at work. You are entitled to money for lost wages, medical treatment, vocational retraining, loss of body function, and in some cases a pension.

  • Personal Injury Attorney

    If your injury was caused by someone other than a co‑worker, an auto accident, or defective equipment, you may be entitled to additional compensation. Our personal injury attorney in Tacoma will evaluate your case.

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