Workers’ compensation does not pay the full salary in Los Angeles, but California workers can typically receive up to two-thirds of their regular, pre-tax wages on a weekly basis if they suffer an injury on the job. In some cases, workplace injuries do not require the employee to take time off work to recover. In these instances, workers’ compensation will still cover the cost of medical care.
The thought of losing any amount of income may feel overwhelming, but workers’ compensation can provide you with a portion of your regular salary, and you may also have other options for pursuing additional financial recovery. A lawyer can help you file your workers’ compensation claim and explore other potential opportunities.
Workers’ Compensation Pay for Temporary and Permanent Disability
According to the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), state law requires your employer to provide you with pay for workers’ compensation benefits. The program serves as a kind of insurance to protect both the employer and their employees. Employees have a right to receive compensation for the occupational injuries they suffer and the disabilities that result from them. If your injury required you to miss more than three days at work or stay overnight at the hospital, you may qualify for temporary or permanent disability benefits.
Temporary Total and Partial Disability
While temporary disability for workers’ compensation does not pay the full salary in Los Angeles, they do provide partial payment to help with expenses as well as coverage for medical bills. If you cannot work at all while you recover, you may qualify for temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. If you can work while you recover but cannot yet return to your previous position or a modified position that provides you with the same wages, you may qualify for temporary partial disability (TPD).
If you qualify for TTD, you would typically receive two-thirds of your regular salary. For example, if you made $900 per week before your injury, you would make $600 per week in TTD benefits. The DIR says that employees can receive no less than $194.91 per week and no more than $1,299.43 per week as of January 1, 2020. Employees who can work a position that pays them less than their regular wages may qualify for two-thirds of their lost wages.
Victims of workplace injuries can receive temporary disability benefits for up to 104 weeks over the course of five years or, in cases of certain chronic conditions, up to 240 weeks of pay during the same time period.
Permanent Disability Compensation
If a doctor determines that your injury left you with a permanent disability that cannot improve and affects your ability to return to work, they will provide the claims processor in your case with a P&S or a report that describes your permanent and stationary condition. This will help determine how much permanent total or partial disability compensation you may receive. Factors detailed in the document include:
- Your specific medical problems
- Your work restrictions
- Explanations of future medical care you may need
- Whether or not you can return to your previous position
- How much your job caused your injury versus other contributors
You will then receive a disability rating, which will determine whether you may qualify for permanent total disability (PTD) or permanent partial disability (PPD). Those with a 100% disability rating may receive PTD benefits, while ratings of 1% up to 99% may deem victims eligible for PPD payments.
Your P&S report contains information that can affect how much you receive in permanent disability benefits, and you have a right to a copy of it. If you disagree with the information it contains, a lawyer can help you challenge your doctor’s conclusions.
Other Options for Pursuing Financial Recovery in Your Workers’ Compensation Case
Depending on the extent of your injury and how it occurred, you may also qualify for other types of compensation. If you started receiving PPD benefits after a workplace injury that occurred in 2004 or later, you may receive up to $6,000 in Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits (SJDB), which can help you receive retraining or education for a new position. Some victims who receive SJDB vouchers also qualify for a one-time $5,000 payment called a Return-to-Work Settlement, which can help you make up for lost wages.
In some situations, victims may receive financial awards outside of workers’ compensation, as well. If your injury took place at work as the result of a third party’s negligence, such as a property owner’s failure to maintain safe premises or an independent contractor’s reckless actions on a job site, you may have a personal injury claim, which could help provide you with additional compensation for your income discrepancy.
Talk to a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer about your situation to explore all your legal options. If you have a case, your attorney will establish liability, assign a monetary value for your economic and non-economic damages and losses, and initiate settlement negotiations or even a lawsuit.
A Lawyer Can Help You with Your Case
Although workers’ compensation does not pay the full salary in Los Angeles, California workers can recover payment for medical care and a large portion of their wages through a workers’ compensation claim. In addition to assisting them through the claims process, a lawyer can also help victims determine if they can file a personal injury claim for their injuries.
If you have suffered injuries in an occupational accident, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you seek compensation for your losses. Contact us today at (800) 529-9122 to speak with our legal team about your case.