What are my rights?
Q: If I am injured at work, what benefits can I receive?
A: Generally, workers' compensation insurance in California provides six types of benefits:
- Medical Care: Employers must pay the medical expenses your doctor believes are necessary to treat your injury. New rules can limit your choice of a doctor to a group of doctors your employer has approved. Please see our frequently asked questions about issues that arise in workers' compensation claims for more information about obtaining a doctor.
- Temporary Disability Benefits: These benefits cover the wages you have lost during the time you could not work. Generally, the temporary disability you receive is based on two-thirds of your pre-tax wages at the time of the injury. However, the law sets minimum and maximum rates that may apply to you.
- Permanent Disability Benefits: These benefits compensate you for any permanent impact your injury has on your earning capacity, even if you can return to your regular job. The amount and duration of benefits you can receive depend on your percentage of permanent disability.
- Supplemental job displacement benefits (if you were injured after 2004): If you are permanently unable to return to your job and your employer cannot provide you with a modified position, you may be entitled to vouchers for retraining or skill enhancement.
- Vocational rehabilitation (if you were injured before 2004): If you are unable to return to your old job and your employer cannot provide a modified position, vocational rehabilitation provides job placement counseling and retraining.
- Death Benefits: Death benefits include monetary payments to the spouse, children, and other dependents of an employee who dies from a workplace injury or illness.
Q: Besides workers' compensation benefits, am I entitled to any other benefits?
Several other types of assistance may be available to you, including the following:
- State Disability Insurance or, in rare cases, California unemployment insurance benefits may be available when workers' compensation payments are delayed or denied.
- If you suffered total disability, Social Security disability benefits may be available (but may be reduced by workers' compensation payments that you receive).
- Your employer or union might offer benefits such as sick leave, group health insurance, long term disability insurance, and salary continuation plans.
- You may be able to file a claim or lawsuit against a third party depending on the cause of your injury. Please see our page on third party lawsuits for more information about this type of potential recovery.
Seek Experienced Legal Representation
At the Law Offices of John E. Hill, A Professional Corporation, we work tirelessly to ensure that you obtain the full amount of benefits to which you are entitled. If you have suffered an injury at work, contact us as soon as possible so that we can begin working on your case. We will explain the benefits available to you and help you understand your rights. To schedule a free consultation about your workers' compensation case, contact us today.