Need help with your California workers’ compensation claim and not sure what benefits are available? Talk to an attorney at Canlas Law Group, APLC, in Cerritos, California.
In California, injured workers have the right to medical treatment that is necessary to cure and relieve the effects of injuries caused by on-the-job injury. The law requires employers or the employers’ workers’ compensation insurance provider to provide for any reasonable treatment for injuries suffered on the job.
Medical treatment for work injuries can extend for long periods of time. You should not be forced to pay for any costs deemed related to your work injury at any point of your treatment. Should you require medical treatment for the rest of your life, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier should handle the bills for the lifetime of medical care.
Temporary disability payments are safety nets for injured workers. Should an injury occur on the job that prevents you from your working, you may be eligible for temporary disability payments. Temporary disability payments are generally 2/3 of gross income, provided tax-free. Gross income is pre-tax earnings, including wages, tips, commissions, bonuses, overtime, etc. This temporary disability amount depends on the particular facts of each case.
Eligibility for temporary disability payments begins when a doctor states that you cannot perform your usual work duties for more than three days or if you are hospitalized overnight. Temporary disability eligibility will end when you start working again, the doctor release you for work, or if the doctor states that you have recovered as much as possible from your injury.
Temporary disability has a maximum duration of two years, with longer durations possible for some severe injuries. Depending on the date of the injury, duration may be limited or expanded, so be sure to discuss your temporary disability situation with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys.
In certain situations when temporary disability is unavailable, injured California workers can also file a claim for state disability insurance (SDI) with the Employment Development Department.
Permanent disability payments are awarded to injured workers who are permanently unable to perform the normal work or activities they were capable of doing prior to the date of the injury. Permanent disability payments are awarded independently of temporary disability and medical treatment. Monetary amounts for permanent disability vary on a case-by-case basis.
When a doctor determines an injury or illness has caused permanent disability, an impairment number is assigned based on the doctor’s medical report. This assigned number is a base for permanent disability benefits. If the permanent disability was caused or exacerbated by something other than the injury suffered at work, a process known as apportionment will determine the work injury’s role in the disability.
Next, the impairment number is placed in a complex formula along with the apportionment value and other demographic information. The result of the formula is considered the disability rating. Finally, the disability rating is converted in to a dollar amount. This end dollar amount may fluctuate higher or lower under certain circumstances.
Permanent disability payments begin within 14 days of temporary disability payments ceasing. The permanent disability payments, paid biweekly, continue until a reasonable estimate of the full amount is paid. When the actual permanent disability amount is determined, any amount over the original reasonable estimate must be paid.
If the disability did not prevent absence from work, permanent disability payments are due from the date the doctor classifies the work injury as “permanent and stationary.” Permanent and stationary is a term used when the injury has stabilized and will not improve further and is also known as a maximal medical improvement.
If you have not returned to your employment after you have been released by your treating physician, you may be entitled to receive a voucher that will be paid to a school up to an amount based on your disability. This amount is typical $6,000 or more or less depending on the date of injury.
In the event of a fatal work-related injury or medical condition, or when a work injury contributes to an injured worker’s death, workers’ compensation pays qualifying dependents benefits up to a maximum of $320,000 and burial expenses up to $10,000.
If you feel that a work injury contributed to your loved one’s death, contact our office to schedule a free case evaluation.
We represent clients in Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County and those located all throughout Southern California.