What the Potential Washington State Government Shutdown Could Mean for You

We want to let you know how the current budget negotiations going on in our State Legislature could affect you and your workers’ compensation claim. Nothing is certain at this point, but if the Legislature does not agree on a new state budget by June 30, 2017, we could be in for a temporary government shut-down.

This may or may not affect your claim.  We are told that if you are on ongoing “A” payments or pension payments, there should be no interruption in your benefits.  However, if we are trying to persuade the Department to authorize treatment or pay back time loss or other benefits, your claim would be affected IF the Government shuts down. Any shut-down, no matter how brief, might affect the Department’s speed in overall claims management as well.

Self-insured employers and their claims operations should NOT be affected, but if we are asking for the State to intervene, there would be delays.

If a shut-down occurs, the Department will lay off approximately 2,800 workers, and all workers’ compensation claims that require staff to process would be on hold.  The Claims and Account Center, and most other services, would not be available.

Stay tuned. Watch your local news, and if the legislative log-jam is solved, the Department will be operating as usual.  June 30 is the deadline.

This shutdown should not affect longshore, Social Security, or personal injury claims.

We sincerely hope that this situation will not occur, but felt we should warn you in advance so that you can prepare for this possibility.

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