In California, all businesses that employ one or more employees must provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees to cover their on-the-job injuries and work-related illnesses. But what types of workers’ compensation benefits are available to workers for injuries sustained in workplace accidents and diseases related to their jobs? The benefits provided by California’s workers’ compensation depend on the type of injury/illness a worker suffers and how it affects them. Typically, pursuing fair compensation can be challenging, which is why many workers choose to hire a California workers’ compensation lawyer to help them receive the maximum coverage they deserve. The knowledgeable and results-driven attorneys at Diefer Law Group assist clients in Riverside and other parts of Southern California with the workers’ compensation claims process. Call (888) 301-7795 to request a free consultation with our attorneys.
What Kinds of Benefits Are Provided by California’s Workers’ Compensation?
Workers who sustain an on-the-job injury or develop a work-related illness may be entitled to receive benefits through their employer’s workers’ comp insurance. According to California’s Department of Industrial Relations, there are four types of workers’ compensation benefits that may be available to employees whose injuries and illnesses are related to their jobs:
- Medical benefits. California workers’ compensation claims cover medical expenses related to diagnosing and treating an employee’s work-related injury or illness. However, workers’ comp insurance only covers the cost of medical care if such care is reasonable and necessary. Medical benefits cover hospitalization costs, medical and surgical expenses, chiropractic-related expenses, the costs of prescriptions and supplies, and others. However, expenses related to cosmetic procedures are not covered.
- Lost wages (temporary disability benefits). Employees may be entitled to temporary disability benefits, which pay for the employee’s lost wages, if their injury or illness prevents them from working. As the name implies, temporary disability benefits pay for lost wages on a temporary basis because the employee is expected to recover and return to work. Temporary disability payments are typically made every two weeks. However, lost wage benefits only cover about two-thirds of the worker’s regular pay.
- Permanent disability benefits. These benefits are available to workers who are totally disabled and cannot return to work because of a work-related injury or illness. Permanent disability benefits are intended to compensate for the loss of future earning capacity. The amount of permanent disability benefits depends on the worker’s disability rating assigned to them based on their condition. The length of time the worker will continue to receive the paychecks with permanent disability benefits is decided on a case-by-case basis.
- Supplemental benefits. Insurance providers also provide additional benefits to workers who meet certain eligibility requirements. These benefits are known as supplemental benefits (supplemental job displacement benefits) and come in the form of vouchers. Workers who can return to their jobs can use these vouchers to pay for educational retraining or skill enhancement. Injured workers are not entitled to supplemental benefits if their employer offers alternate, regular, or modified work that lasts at least 12 months.
Determining which types of workers’ compensation benefits will be available to you in your particular case can be a daunting task. However, our workers’ compensation attorneys at Diefer Law Group can help you understand what benefits you are entitled to in your specific situation and protect your rights to those benefits.
What Are the Most Common Claims for Worker Compensation?
Every workers’ comp case is unique, which is why the types of claims for workers’ compensation can vary. Below is the list of some of the most common California workers’ compensation claims:
- A claim for medical treatment only. When a worker’s injury or illness is not serious enough, they may file a workers’ compensation claim for medical benefits only. However, this type of claim is applicable only if the worker does not miss any time from work and does not require lost wage benefits.
- A claim for medical treatment and lost wage benefits when an employee is expected to return to their job. If a work-related injury or illness results in medical expenses and lost time from work, the employee could make a claim for both medical benefits and lost wages (temporary disability benefits). Temporary disability benefits are usually equal to two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wages. When making a claim for medical benefits and lost wages, the worker is expected to recover and return to their job.
- A claim for medical treatment and lost wage benefits when an employee is not expected to return to their job. If an employee is not expected to return to their pre-injury job, they may be entitled to medical benefits, lost wages, and also supplemental job displacement benefits to retrain and learn new skills in order to work in a different role.
- A claim for medical treatment and permanent disability benefits. If a work-related injury or illness prevents a worker from doing any type of work and the worker cannot recover, they may be entitled to medical treatment benefits and permanent disability benefits. The amount and duration of these payments depend on whether a worker suffered a partial or total disability and how much they earned before the injury or illness, according to California’s Department of Industrial Relations.
But which type of workers’ compensation claim is easiest to process? Clearly, it is the claim for medical treatment only. When a worker does not miss any time from work and requires payment for the medical care, their workers’ comp claim is typically easier and faster to process because there is no need to calculate lost wage benefits and determine the worker’s level of impairment.
Diefer Law Group: Legal Advocacy You Can Trust
California’s workers’ compensation system offers several types of workers’ compensation benefits to workers who sustain on-the-job injuries and develop occupational diseases. At Diefer Law Group, we help workers in Riverside and across Southern California pursue the workers’ comp benefits they are entitled to. Our attorneys provide compassionate and skilled representation in workers’ compensation cases. Call (888) 301-7795 to discuss your case with our California workers’ compensation attorney.