Workers’ Compensation FAQ
If you’ve suffered a work-related injury or were diagnosed with an occupational illness, you probably have a lot of questions regarding your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
How are workers’ compensation benefits paid?
All employers in the state of California are required to either:
- Become self-insured to cover work-related injuries or illness
- Purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy
Workplace injury claims are paid out by the employer’s insurer every two weeks following the approval of a claim.
How are workers’ compensation benefits calculated?
Workers’ compensation in California is separated into two main categories: temporary disability and permanent disability.
A claim is classified as a temporary disability claim if an injured or ill worker is unable to return to work within three days. Benefits are not paid for the first three days of missed work unless the worker is:
- Unable to return to work for more than 14 days
- Hospitalized overnight for his or her injuries or illness
Temporary disability benefits are payable every two weeks at a rate of two-thirds their lost wages (up to the maximum set by California law). This occurs until the worker is able to return to work or the worker’s condition becomes permanent.
A claim is classified as a permanent disability claim if the reporting physician indicates that the worker will not return to his or her pre-injury or pre-illness condition. The percentage of benefits paid every two weeks depends on:
- The extent of his or her injuries, illness or disfigurement
- The extent to which his or her future earning capacity has been diminished
- The employee’s pre-injury/pre-illness occupation
- The date the injury or illness began
- The age of the worker when he or she was injured or became ill
What are workers’ compensation benefits?
Workers’ compensation benefits are a form of monetary compensation given to workers who have suffered a work-related injury. These benefits are designed to cover lost wages as well as expenses for medical treatments. They do not cover pain and suffering or other punitive damages.
What can I seek workers’ compensation for?
In California, benefits that are provided under workers’ compensation include:
- Medical care
- First aid and emergency treatment
- Temporary and permanent disability
- Supplemental job displacement
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Support payments for surviving dependants (fatal accident claims)
Are there any statutory limits on worker’s compensation claims?
California law requires workers to notify their employers of work-related injuries as soon as possible. In cases of gradually developing injuries or illnesses, the law allows workers to file a report when they become aware of their condition.
It’s very important to report your injury or illness within 30 days of either suffering from it or learning about it. Failing to do so could cause you to lose your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Can my employer fire me because I was injured or filed for benefits?
No. The state of California prohibits employers from taking retaliatory actions against employees who become injured or ill during the course of work. Retaliation can include, but are not limited to:
- Unfair demotion
- Refusing a promotion
- Salary reduction
- Unnecessary job or shift reassignments
We Fight To Protect Workers’ Rights
At Canlas Law Group, APLC, our lawyers are committed to helping injured workers get the answers they need to protect their rights and recover the workers’ compensation benefits they need and deserve. If we didn’t answer one of your questions above, contact us and we will take the time to get you the answers you need during a free initial consultation.
We serve clients throughout the Los Angeles area and Southern California.