California workers’ comp is meant to help employees and their families following injuries, illness, or death that occurs on the job. If you have suffered an injury or have developed an illness at work you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
In the state of California, workers comp includes six basic benefits. These include permanent disability benefits, medical care, medical mileage, temporary disability, vocational rehabilitation, and in some very unfortunate circumstances, death benefits.
Below are the steps you should take following a work-related injury or illness. If you have any other questions or would like to learn more, please contact Gold Country Workers Comp Center today.
Steps To Take For California Workers Comp Benefits
The first step following an injury at work is to report the injury. Be sure the injury is reported on paper to the manager or owner. Then immediately get the medical attention you need. If your injury requires immediate medical attention at the Emergency Dept. of a nearby hospital or at Urgent Care, you should notify your employer of the details as soon as possible following medical attention.
Once your employer is notified, they should give you a claims form to fill out. This form must be completed within thirty days of receiving it. If your employer is not notified within thirty days, you may lose your benefits under the program. DO NOT HOLD THE CLAIM FORM. IF YOU ARE TERMINATED BEFORE IT IS SUBMITTED, THE EMPLOYER COULD AVOID ALL LIABILITY FOR THE INJURY.
In most cases, temporary disability pays approximately 66% of wages earned prior to the injury. The maximum receivable amount is capped at $1,252 per week.
Temporary disability payments usually begin following a doctor’s confirmation that you cannot work for more than three days. A check should be sent every two weeks until you actually return to work at the same pre-injury wage, or until your doctors determine your condition has stabilized and is not likely to change much. If you return to work but make less per week than pre-injury, partial temporary disability is payable at 2/3 of your lost (lesser) wage.
The maximum period these payments are limited to is 104 weeks. In special cases like severe burns, high velocity eye injury or some types of lung disease, the payments may continue for up to 240 weeks.
Permanent Disability Payments
Workers’ comp cases that lead to permanent disability benefits can be more challenging. They are determined by the date of injury, wages previously earned, and the disability rating. The rating process is very complicated and requires a good understanding of the 600 page AMA Guides to Impairments, 5th Ed. This Guide is used by doctors to determine how many rating points you receive. The more points, the more money. As the point count increases, so does the money, but exponentially.
Permanent disability payments are weekly and can range depending on a variety of factors. Typically, weekly partial permanent disability benefits will be the same as your temporary disability rate HOWEVER, the maximum is now $290/week.
Seek California Workers’ Comp Assistance
The workers’ compensation process can be challenging to navigate. Although you can go it alone, it is highly advised that you seek assistance from an experienced California workers comp attorney.
A workers’ comp lawyer can assist you through the complicated process of acquiring the benefits you are entitled to. They can be especially useful if there is a possible settlement or if your claim has been denied.
Gold Country Workers Comp Center is a Northern California-based firm that specializes in workers’ compensation and disability. Our attorneys are well-versed in the process and can give you the legal assistance needed to secure the benefits you deserve.
Please contact us today at 560-362-7188 to get started on your California workers’ comp claim or to schedule a free case consultation. Remember, EARLY INTERVENTION WORKS!