How long you can receive workers’ compensation in Los Angeles depends on the severity of your injuries, how long it takes you to recover, and whether or not your injuries resulted in temporary or permanent disability. As noted by the Insurance Information Institute (III), workers’ compensation provides workers with coverage for their injury-related medical care and a portion of the wages they lose due to missing work during recovery.
In general, you can continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits for your medical care for as long as you need treatment, regardless of who holds fault for the injury. A lawyer can help you seek adequate compensation for the financial losses that resulted from your workplace injury.
Don’t forget that you could obtain monetary compensation outside workers’ comp claims. You should talk to a personal injury lawyer based in LA about your situation if your work injuries occurred because of a third party’s negligence. For instance, you may have been hurt because the property owner failed to secure the premises or because a third-party contractor didn’t manage properly some equipment. In such cases, you may be eligible for damages in a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Temporary Disability Benefits
If you cannot return to work after three days and your employer does not offer you other work that pays your wages while you recover, you may qualify for temporary total disability (TTD) benefits for your continued healthcare expenses and up to two-thirds of the wages you would have earned if it were not for your injury.
According to the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), you may also qualify to receive temporary partial disability (TPD) payments if you can perform a job while injured that provides you with some income, but not as much as you made prior to your workplace injury.
Payments for temporary disability typically begin when you suffer an occupational injury or illness and your doctor says you cannot return to work. You can receive workers compensation in Los Angeles for temporary disability until one of the following occurs:
- Your doctor clears you to return to your usual job
- You return to your usual job or a modified position that pays your regular wages
- Your condition continues to improve and not worsen
- You received up to 104 weeks of benefits within five years of your injury or up to 240 weeks for certain chronic conditions
If the doctor treating you informs you that you will never completely recover from the injury you suffered at work, a lawyer can help you determine if you qualify for permanent disability.
Permanent Disability Benefits
Unfortunately, some workers cannot make a full recovery, which prevents them from returning to work. If your doctor says that you have a permanent disability as a result of your injuries or your injury limits your options for work, you may receive permanent disability (PD) benefits. The DIR emphasizes that while you may both work and receive PD benefits in some cases, they also may not cover all the income you lose as a result of your disability.
Because PD offers beneficiaries lifetime compensation, it involves a fairly complex process for determining eligibility and how much you will receive. Doctors refer to injuries that will not improve as permanent and stationary (P&S), so when they determine that you cannot recover from your condition, they will draft a P&S report for workers’ compensation purposes. This report includes:
- Information on your specific medical condition
- Your injury-related work restrictions
- Future medical care you may need
- Whether or not you can return to the job you worked prior to your injury
- An estimate of how much of your disability resulted from your job versus other factors
When the doctor submits this document to the claims processor, you will receive a rating for your disability level from one percent through one hundred percent. Those with up to ninety-nine percent disability ratings qualify for partial PD benefits, while those who receive one hundred percent ratings can receive full PD compensation.
P&S reports affect the amount of money you will receive on a long-term basis. If you disagree with the information it obtains, a lawyer can help you challenge it and pursue fair compensation from your employer.
If you lost a spouse or parent as the result of a workplace injury, you may qualify for workers’ compensation death benefits. The amount varies depending on the number of dependents who receive weekly compensation based on total compensation. Children of victims typically receive payment until they turn 18; however, if they have physical or mental disabilities, they may qualify for death benefits for the rest of their lives.
Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits
If you have a permanent partial disability that prevents you from returning to your old job, you may receive supplemental job displacement benefits (SJDB) to help you seek retraining or skill enhancement for a new job. SJDB provides up to $6,000 for education, computer equipment, placement agency services, and miscellaneous expenses, and recipients can use their SJDB benefits for up to two years after receipt or five years from the date of injury, whichever deadline occurs later.
A Lawyer Can Help You with Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you have suffered an occupational injury or lost a loved one to a workplace injury or illness, you deserve to receive adequate compensation for a sufficient amount of time so that you can get back on your feet and support yourself and your family.
How long you can receive worker’s compensation in Los Angeles varies based on the circumstances of your case, but Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you determine the type of workers’ compensation you qualify for and fight back against claim rejections by employers and insurance companies. Contact us today at (800) 529-9122 to speak with our legal team about your free case evaluation.