If you have been injured in an accident at your place of employment, you may be eligible to receive benefits under the California workers’ compensation law. There are different types of benefits available under this law, but the main ones are as follows.
Temporary Disability Benefits
These are monetary payments for lost wages because of being injured at work. The payments are made to place the injured worker as close as possible to the financial position as they would have been if they were not injured.
In other words, the payments are a substitute to salary or wages the worker would have otherwise earned if they did not get injured. The actual rate of pay is two-thirds of the injured worker’s average weekly wage. These benefits are limited to 104 weeks and within five years of the date of injury.
To obtain California temporary disability benefits, a doctor must provide a report in which they state that a worker cannot work due to his or her injury or is otherwise limited in the type or amount of work he or she can do. It must also be the case that the employer does not have or cannot provide a modified work assignment or light duty to offer the injured worker as an alternative.
Permanent Disability Benefits
The law provides that a worker injured at work may be paid for loss of future earning capacity due to the permanent impact of the work injury.
Permanent disability is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100%. If a worker’s disability rating is under 100%, then he or she is considered partially disabled. In that case, the injured worker will be entitled to regular weekly payments for a predetermined period.
If the injured worker is 100% disabled, he or she is regarded as permanently and totally disabled, in which case the worker is entitled to weekly payments at the temporary disability rate for the rest of his or her life.
If an injured worker’s disability score is between 70% and 99%, then he or she is entitled to a life pension. This means after the weekly partial disability payments stop, the injured worker will get continued monetary payments for the rest of his or her life owing to the higher level of disability.
Medical treatment coverage is available under the law, but the injured worker must get this done through a medical care review process where it is determined what the appropriate treatment would be for each injury. The care is directed by a doctor in a Medical Provider Network covering the employer. An injured worker is also entitled to mileage reimbursement for necessary medical care travel.
Job Displacement Benefits
Supplemental job displacement benefits are also a type of workers’ compensation benefits for an injured worker who is unable to return to work after his or her condition has stabilized. The worker receives a voucher for $6,000 for retraining. The injured worker may receive additional benefits in the form of a penalty that the insurance companies are required to pay for any benefit that is paid late. The penalty may be up to 25% of the amount the insurance company is late in paying.
If you have been injured at work and need more information, call an Orange County worker’s compensation attorney in California.