One minute you're working your job, and the next, you are injured. California workers are injured every day. That's why injured workers need to understand the process and requirements for obtaining workers' compensation benefits.
California's Unique Laws
California's unique approach to workers' compensation benefits differs from other states. To start, workers should visit the California Department of Industrial Relations website for more information on workers' compensation in this state.
It's also critical to remember that an employer must provide workers with information about workers' compensation within 24 hours of an accident or injury. This paperwork outlines the exact process for both wage replacement and workers' compensation, as well as details regarding transportation to treatment, rehabilitation, income replacement through permanent or temporary disability, and medical care. If death benefits are applicable, information on these will also be included.
After a California worker is injured, state law entitles them to two-thirds of their pre-tax gross wage. This is subject to a maximum and minimum amount adjusted annually.
Some companies have "Disability Leave with Pay" programs, wherein they make up the salary difference so that employees receive their entire income even after an injury. To calculate a regular weekly wage, workers should divide their annual salary by 52. For example, someone making $52,000 a year would be eligible for a maximum benefit of $666.66 (2/3 of their pre-tax gross wage). In this case, an employer's "Disability with Leave Pay" program would make up the remaining $333.34 per week. It is important to note that no taxes are withheld from this amount.
If someone suffers a permanent disability, they may also be eligible for Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits (SJDB). This can include a voucher of up to $6,000 in compensation for vocational skills training, plus up to $10,000 in reimbursement for medications, hospital expenses, and physical therapy until their claim is accepted or denied.
Get the Most Out of Your Workers' Compensation Benefits
Figuring out how to calculate your workers' compensation benefits can be daunting, even after researching the available information online. There may also be specific circumstances that impact the calculation of these benefits; for instance, medical conditions requiring multiple opinions from physicians might alter the amount of compensation due. You would also need to meet various deadlines to receive the total amount you are entitled to, which can be quite challenging.
At The Sexton Law Firm, we understand multiple factors can make this process confusing and difficult to navigate. That's why it is crucial to get advice from a California workers' compensation attorney specializing in these laws and regulations. With our help, you can rest assured that your rights and interests will be protected. Contact us online or by phone today to get started. (619) 202-8976