The four types of workers’ compensation benefits are medical, rehabilitative, disability, and death. As summarized by the Insurance Information Institute (III), workers’ compensation provides for the medical care and rehabilitation of workers who suffered injuries on the job, as well as lost wages for long-term recoveries and death benefits for the families of victims who lose their lives due to accidents or illness stemming from their work.
Laws vary by state, but most, including California, require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance to provide medical care for those injured on the job, regardless of who caused the accident, according to California Labor Code (LAB) §3700. You may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if you:
- Had an accident at work that required medical attention
- Suffered an injury due to repeated motions, such as lifting
- Developed an illness as a result of continued exposure to harmful substances
A lawyer can help you file your workers’ compensation claim and pursue sufficient recovery for your financial losses.
According to the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), if you suffer an injury on the job, your employer has a legal obligation to pay for workers’ compensation benefits, including all required medical treatments. These may include:
- Emergency care
- Follow-up visits
- Physical therapy and other rehabilitative treatments
If you suffer an injury at work, report it as soon as possible to your supervisor to prevent any delays in coverage, and receive medical attention right away.
If your injuries prevent you from doing your job for an extended period of time, you may also qualify for workers’ compensation disability benefits. The type of disability benefits you may receive depends on how your condition affects your ability to work and how long you need to recover before returning to your previous position, if possible.
Temporary Disability Benefits
If you cannot perform your usual job while you recover, you may qualify for temporary disability (TD) benefits. The DIR states that in order to receive TD benefits, your injury must prevent you from returning to your position for more than three days, or it must have required at least an overnight hospital stay. Additionally, you must not have the opportunity to work in another position provided by your employer that offers you the same wages.
Two types of TD exist depending on the extent of your injury and the job options available to you. If you cannot work at all while you recover, you may qualify for temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, which pay up to two-thirds of your previous salary. If you can work but must work a position that brings in a lower income, you may qualify for up to two-thirds of the difference in pay with temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits.
Permanent Disability Benefits
If your doctor finds that you cannot recover fully from your injury and will experience indefinite restrictions on your ability to work, you may receive permanent disability (PD) benefits to help cover your financial losses. Like TD benefits, workers’ compensation offers two types of PD based on your condition. However, PD involves weekly lifetime payments or a significant lump sum as opposed to temporary assistance.
If you have a permanent disability, you will receive a disability rating that determines how much you can receive in PD benefits. If you have a 100% disability rating, you can receive permanent total disability (PTD) payments. If you have a rating between 1% and 99%, which accounts for most PD cases, you may qualify for permanent partial disability (PPD) payments, which vary depending on your injury. PD benefits do not always cover the total amount of income you lost, but they can help.
Career Support Benefits
If you have a PPD that prevents you from returning to your previous job, you may also qualify for Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits (SJDB). This program allows victims who developed a permanent disability as a result of their occupational injury the opportunity to pursue retraining or education at a California public school to learn new skills and broaden career choices. Those who receive SJDB may also benefit from the Return-to-Work Supplement Program (RTWSP), which offers those who qualify a one-time supplement of $5,000.
If you lost a spouse or parent in a workplace accident, you might receive workers’ compensation death benefits. The total number of dependents determines the death benefits you may qualify for, and dependent children can receive these benefits until age 18. Death benefits also include payment for funeral and burial expenses of up to $10,000.
A Lawyer Can Help You with Your Workers’ Compensation Case
If you suffered an injury or illness on the job or lost a loved one as the result of a workplace accident, you may qualify for one or more of the four types of workers’ compensation benefits.
In some cases, employers and their insurance companies hesitate to provide victims and their families with adequate compensation, but our lawyers can help you fight back and pursue the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 529-9122 to speak with our legal team about your case.