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How Long Can You Be On Workers' Comp In California

Last updated: April 9, 2023

Workplace safety and security have come a long way since the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s. Despite this, employees still get injured at work, with 3.1 workers' compensation claims being filed for every 100 full-time employees, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, employers in California paid $9.2 billion to provide workers' compensation benefits. 

Workers' compensation benefits ensure injured employees recover properly and successfully re-enter the workforce. At the same time, it provides those suffering from work-related accidents or occupational illnesses with economic relief and financial assistance.

To learn how long you can be on workers' comp in California and the eligibility requirements, read the article below.

How To Qualify For Disability Benefits Under Workers' Comp

You could be eligible for more extensive workers' compensation coverage than short-term disability benefits if you have a serious injury or illness that results in permanent impairment. Your employer's insurance provider determines whether permanent disability and long-term medical care benefits are available.

For injured workers who have suffered permanent harm at work, workers' compensation benefits may be available for a maximum of 104 weeks. Social Security disability benefits must be pursued if their employer's insurance does not cover permanent disability. 

In most situations, an injured employee awarded permanent disability due to a work-related injury may claim workers' comp benefits for up to 104 weeks. However, if your workers' comp insurance coverage does not provide permanent disability benefits, you may try applying for Social Security disability benefits instead.

How Much Will Workers' Compensation Payments Be

Workers' compensation payments are typically calculated based on 2/3 of your pre-tax gross income. Your workers' compensation amount will presumably be $600 per week, for instance, if your average weekly income is $900. 

In addition to a weekly cash payout, workers' compensation also offers medical benefits, mileage reimbursement for travel expenses related to receiving treatment, and supplemental job displacement benefits.

How To Receive Workers' Comp Benefits In California

To receive workers' compensation, you must notify your employer of your injury or illness. You must do this step immediately to avoid any delays with your workers' comp claim. Also, remember that you cannot obtain workers' comp benefits unless you inform your company's management or their representative.

The next step is for your employer to mail or hand you a copy of a Workers' Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1) within one working day after your date of injury. Fill out the form's employee section, then submit it to your employer. Your employer should finish their portion of the form, sign it, and hand you a copy within that same day.

Once you and your employer have completed the form, you successfully submit a workers' compensation claim. However, filing a workers' comp claim doesn't ensure you'll receive benefits. A claims administrator of your employer's insurance provider will decide whether to approve or deny your claim after a careful review. In case your claim gets denied, we recommend hiring a workers' compensation lawyer to file an appeal on your behalf.

What Is The Benefit Period For Workers' Comp California?

Workers' compensation benefits are designed to help injured employees throughout their injury or illness. However, these benefits do not extend indefinitely. In California, most injuries can only result in 104 weeks or two years of benefits provided over five years. 

Workers may be eligible to receive up to 240 weeks of workers' compensation benefits for certain medical conditions, such as severe burns, chronic lung disease, and amputation. Additionally, employees who sustain permanent disabilities that hinder them from performing their regular work duties may qualify for benefits beyond the 104 weeks. 

Day one of the workers' comp benefit period in California is counted based on the date you had your injury. It's also the date used in determining when your paychecks begin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding workers' compensation in California. 

1. Is Workers' Comp payments tax-free?

Workers' compensation benefits are tax-free in California. As a result, any monetary amount received as a result of a workers' compensation claim is not subject to federal or state income tax deductions.

2. How do I appeal a denial of my workers' compensation claim in California?

In California, appealing a denial of a workers' compensation claim can be difficult. There are several reasons why a workers' compensation claim may be denied. It is best to request the legal services of a workers' comp lawyer for assistance.

3. What are the deadlines for filing a workers' compensation claim in California?

There are different deadlines for filing a workers' compensation claim in California based on the type of injury you have sustained. However, as a general rule, a claim must be filed within one year of the date of injury or one year after you became aware of the injury.

If you want to learn more about workers' comp benefits, read this article from Disability Help on the definition of workers' compensation.

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Victor Traylor
An expert to the field of Social Justice, Victor formed Disability Help to connect ideas and expertise from the US with rising global cultural leadership, building networks, fostering collaboration, long-term results, mutual benefit, and more extensive international perception.
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