L&I’s Employer Assistance Program Offers Help to Struggling Businesses

If your business is experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, check L&I’s Employer Assistance Program to see if it can help. The Employer Assistance Program is activated in times of crisis and permits businesses to arrange payment plans, or to defer their payments for up to 90 days without incurring penalties or interest.

L&I explains the program as follows:

Can’t Pay Your Workers’ Comp Premiums? L&I Can Help

To help during hard times, L&I can work with financially distressed businesses impacted by the economy, natural disasters, or other serious problems to arrange a payment plan for workers’ compensation premiums. Businesses that are impacted and have not paid their most recent quarterly premiums should call L&I for help.

Who qualifies for the Employer Assistance Program?

The program allows a business to ask for a 90-day “same as cash” payment plan. No interest. No penalties. L&I also offers payment plans to businesses with less-than-perfect payment histories. These plans may require payment of penalty and interest.

How does the Employer Assistance Program work?

1) L&I waives late penalties and interest if qualifying businesses pay their premiums within 90 days. Penalties and interest may be applied for longer payment periods.

2) Businesses must also pay future quarterly premium payments by the regular deadline, which is 30 days after the end of each quarter.

3) In some cases, the payment plan can be renegotiated if a business goes deeper into financial distress.

More information about the program is available here.

Employment Security Department, the agency in charge of administering the state’s unemployment insurance program, has similarly indicated that it is offering more leniency to employers as a result of COVID-19.

Information on ESD’s programs to help “weather the financial impacts of COVID-19” is available here.


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