What Costs Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Bay Area Workers Compensation AttorneyIf you are hurt or become ill because of your work, you might be eligible to receive workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is a program that is required under state law, and allows for benefits that may cover the costs of medical care, disability, and death in the event that an employee dies and a dependent is seeking compensation. Although the details can be slightly complex, the overall rules on what type of compensation can be received are explained below.

Medical Care

In California, nearly all people employed are covered under workers’ compensation laws. This includes immigrants, minors, people that work part-time, and permanent residents. Some types of employees are not covered though, such as domestic workers in private homes, and people that are self-employed. The vast majority of people working in California, however, are considered to have coverage.

Californians can receive medical benefits that are necessary to cover the costs of workplace injuries. This includes costs for doctor’s visits, surgeries, medicine, and any additional costs you may incur during treatment, such as purchasing a wheelchair or crutches. Finally, medical care costs also cover any rehabilitation care you may need to recover from your injury.

Disability and Retraining

In addition to medical care payments, workers’ compensation in California also provides temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, death benefits, and supplemental job displacement benefits. The following is a list of some the disability benefits you may be eligible to receive:

  • Total Temporary Disability Benefits:  Total temporary disability is payable when you are not able to work because of temporary restrictions that your doctor has established for you. In other words, although you cannot work right now, your doctor believes you will be able to go back to work once you fully recover.
  • Temporary Partial Disability:  If you are temporarily partially disabled, then your compensation will match the extent of your limitations due to your disability. Hence, if your doctor only allows you to work five hours out of each eight-hour day, you will receive benefits proportional to the three hours of work each day that you cannot stay at your job.
  • Permanent Partial Disability: After you have reached your maximum medical improvement, and are still partially disabled, you will be able to receive some benefits, even if you can return to work with limitations.
  • Permanent Total Disability: If you cannot return to employment because of a disability that will not improve with time, you may be eligible for total disability benefits. You do not need to be totally debilitated to receive benefits in California, but only injured to such an extent that you cannot ever return to work.
  • Retraining: Finally, if after a certain amount of time you have discovered that your disability is permanent, you will be unable to return to your previous work, and your employer has not offered you any alternatives, you can qualify for an education voucher to learn a new skill.

There are many complexities to the workers’ compensation system in California. If you would like to learn more about the system, look here, and consult with an attorney who has experience dealing with these issues. If you believe you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, contact the Appel Law Firm LLP. Thanks for reading Slice of Appel PI today! We hope that you will continue to read and share this information with others.

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