Washington State Court of Appeals decision in re:
Crabb versus Labor and Industries
Typically in July of each year, Labor and Industries provides a Cost of Living Adjustment (aka COLA), which is based on the rate of inflation. COLA’s are not implemented until the 2nd July after the claim is open. (for example a claim opened in August of 2011 would not see a COLA until July of 2013)
Washington State also has minimum and maximum Time Loss amounts, based on the average monthly state wage.
In 2011, Washington State Labor and Industries instituted a freeze on COLA adjustments based on a lack of inflation in our state. While there was an increase in the minimum and maximum Time-Loss rates, those injured workers that were receiving the maximum time-loss benefits, were paid at the 2010 maximum rate and not 2011.
In the recent decision by the Court of Appeals, the court ruled that essentially, injured workers who were receiving the maximum time-loss rate in 2011 were entitled to the 2011 rates and not 2010 rates. The department is now paying out adjustments to many injured workers.