Benefits of Workers' Compensation in California
Workers’ compensation benefits come from an employer-paid insurance policy. Employees who sustain a work injury or illness should receive various benefits like medical treatment, financial assistance, or permanent benefits.
But challenges exist to get any or all benefits. Workers’ compensation is complicated as big business interests have a lot of control. Receiving fair and rightful workers’ compensation in California for employees can be difficult.
Helpful information and recommended actions on workers’ comp benefits are available here.
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Types of Workers' Compensation Benefits
There are five primary workers’ comp benefits in California for the injured that include:
Employees who get hurt on the job have the right to receive medical care covering all necessary treatments to help them recover. This benefit covers medical expenses like hospital services, doctor appointments, tests, diagnostics, medications and mileage reimbursements without out-of-pocket costs.
Workers who experience a temporary inability to work because of a work-related injury may qualify for Temporary Disability benefits. These payments replace employees’ lost earnings to help them maintain financial stability while they heal and return to work.
Sometimes, an employee suffers a Permanent Disability from a work-related injury or illness. These employees will need continuous medical care for the long term. They may experience a reduced capacity to work.
A calculation of Permanent Disability benefits is established on the extent of the disability and the earnings of the employee before the injury.
Supplemental Job Displacement
Supplemental Job Displacement benefits are available for employees who cannot return to their pre-injury job due to work-related injury or illness. This benefit allows employees to learn new skills and receive training for a different job skill.
In the unfortunate event that an employee’s work-related injury or illness results in their death, workers’ compensation in California provides Death Benefits to their dependents. Death benefits financially assist the surviving family members of the deceased employee, including the spouse, children, and other eligible family members, with funeral expenses.
Filing a Workers' Compensation Benefit Claim
Filing a workers’ compensation benefits claim is essential to begin the process of receiving the benefits you deserve. Act promptly and alert your employer of any work-related injury or illness within 30 days. Provide all the necessary documents and keep track of your recovery status and expenses.
Take the next step.
Contact a Worker's Compensation Lawyer
An attorney’s services can be indispensable to ensure that you receive the needed support that comes with the challenges of filing a claim and all the benefits to which you are rightfully entitled.
Thomas DeBenedetto has extensive experience as a workers’ comp attorney in San Diego. Since 1992, his law firm has secured over 1 billion in benefits for injured workers.
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FAQs about Workers Compensation Benefits California
Workers’ compensation covers all necessary medical treatment, including doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation services, and medical equipment related to the work-related injury or illness.
In California, you can choose your treating physician from a pre-approved list provided by your employer’s insurance company.
This list is called a medical-provided network. The doctors on this network are contracted with the insurance company to treat injured workers.
Selecting a doctor within this network who is a patient advocate who will have your best interests at heart is essential.
Temporary disability benefits compensate workers who cannot work due to work-related injuries or illnesses. These benefits typically equate to about two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wages. They are usually available for a maximum duration of 104 weeks.
However, some exceptions allow you to receive up to 204 weeks of temporary disability. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to see if you qualify for this exception.
Is there a specific period that must pass before I become eligible to receive temporary disability benefits?
Yes, there is a three-day waiting period. However, you can only work for up to 14 days. In that case, you may be eligible to receive temporary disability benefits retroactively from the date of your injury.
If your injury or illness leads to a permanent disability, you may be entitled to receive permanent disability benefits. Factors such as the extent of disability, age, type of work, and earning potential determine these benefit
Permanent disability benefits are determined based on a formula that considers the nature of the disability, the worker’s pre-injury wages, and other factors.
Supplemental job displacement benefits provide a $6,000 voucher to eligible workers who experience permanent disability and cannot return to their previous employer. These vouchers are used for training, education, and necessary expenses.
California will provide an additional $5,000 cash payment to individuals utilizing their job displacement voucher. Thus, workers can receive $11,000 in total.
Complete the necessary forms and submit them to your employer’s insurance company or seek help from a workers’ compensation lawyer to guide you during the application process.
If a worker tragically passes away from a work-related injury, workers’ compensation offers death benefits to the worker’s dependents.
But, it is complicated to establish who is a dependent. Thus, speaking with a knowledgeable workers’ comp lawyer is imperative.
In California, these benefits usually consist of financial assistance for funeral costs and regular payments to qualified dependents, including the worker’s spouse, children, or other dependents.
To apply for death benefits, the deceased worker’s dependents must notify the employer or the insurance company about the death and submit the necessary documentation.
The timeline for receiving workers’ compensation benefits varies depending on the complexity of the case and the cooperation of all parties involved.
The insurance company typically has 90 days in California to accept or deny a claim.
If approved, benefits should begin shortly after.
Can employees file other lawsuits against their employer while receiving workers' compensation benefits?
Employees covered by workers’ compensation typically cannot take legal action against their employers for work-related injuries or illnesses, as workers’ compensation offers an exclusive benefit.
While a work injury is an exclusive remedy. There are other circumstances where an employee can file legal action against their employer.
One of the most common scenarios for taking legal action is when an employer fails to pay an employee correct wages such as overtime. An employee can also file a lawsuit for certain types of discrimination.
Contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney regarding these matters.
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Workers’ compensation benefits are rightful as employees receive necessary aid for work-related injuries or illnesses. However, you must ensure that you fully receive every benefit.
Seek out experienced legal representation. Schedule a free consultation with Thomas DeBenedetto & Associates to get all that you are entitled to.