Interest & attorney fees
Workers may receive interest on delayed benefits. There are two instances in which interest may be paid:
- When the worker files an appeal with the BIIA and is successful in obtaining additional time-loss benefits.
- When an employer files an appeal and the worker wins.
A worker/beneficiary/crime victim represented by an attorney who succeeds in their appeal may ask the Board to set the attorney fee. The request must be in writing and must be filed within one year of receipt of the Board's final order. The Board has authority to set the fee even though a fee agreement was made with the attorney. The responsibility for paying the fee, however, remains with the worker/beneficiary/crime victim.
Attorney fees are usually charged on a contingent fee basis. This means that no attorney fee is charged unless additional benefits are received (or benefits retained in the case of an employer's appeal). The fee set by the Board is based upon the benefits obtained as a result of the appeal, the complexity of the case, the time involved, and other factors.
After the Board has issued an order fixing the attorney fee, it is unlawful for the attorney to charge any additional fee, unless the order is overturned by superior court. If no written request is made to the Board, the fee will be determined by private agreement.
Law enforcement officers and Fire fighters benefits only
The Board can order L&I to pay attorney fees if the claimant is successful in reversing a decision to reject a claim for occupational disease. The fee set by the Board is based upon the benefits obtained as a result of the appeal, the complexity of the case, the time involved, and other factors.