If you work for someone else as an employee, you might know that you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in San Diego. In California, nearly all employers must provide this coverage. If your employer has a large Human Resources Department, they probably could provide information about what you can expect if you ever file a claim. But if you work for an enterprise that has only a few employees, there might not be anyone to explain your benefits to you.
Some good resources are available, including the state’s workers’ compensation website. Information is posted there in several languages. You could also consult a seasoned attorney to learn what benefits you are entitled to receive if you ever suffer a work-related injury.
The first benefit an injured employee is likely to receive is no-cost medical treatment. Workers’ compensation pays up to $10,000 for medical care, not including emergency treatment, while reviewing a claim. Once the insurer has accepted the claim, it will continue to pay for medical treatment until a physician certifies that a condition is not likely to improve with further treatment or the employee has healed.
An employee could designate their primary care physician to provide care for a work-related injury, or the employee could see a physician who works with the workers’ compensation insurance company. Regardless of who provides care, injured employees are entitled to receive the following without cost:
If the workers’ compensation insurance stops paying for care, an employee who wishes to pursue further treatment could consult a San Diego attorney for advice about how to continue receiving benefits.
Workers’ compensation will pay a portion of an employee’s weekly wages if their injury requires them to miss more than three days of work while recovering. An employee could receive temporary total disability if they cannot work while recovering. Their benefits will be two-thirds of their regular wage in most cases.
If the employee can work but not at their regular job, or if they can work but only part-time, they could receive temporary partial disability payments. The worker will receive two-thirds of the difference between their regular wage and the wage they earn while they recover.
Disability payments continue until an employee can return to work full-time in their former capacity. If the employee’s condition does not improve enough to allow them to return to work and a physician determines that the injury has reached maximum medical improvement, an injured San Diego employee may be eligible for permanent disability benefits.
If an injury permanently prevents an employee from returning to their former job, they could seek job displacement benefits. These benefits pay for continuing education or skills enhancement to help the worker find employment in a different capacity or another field.
If an injury leads to a worker’s death, their dependents could receive a death benefit to cover burial expenses. California Labor Code §3501 designates surviving dependents who could also receive a weekly payment based on the supplemental payment the employee would have received if they were alive but unable to work.
The laws governing who is entitled to receive the death benefit are complicated. Anyone whose family member died due to a work-related injury should consult a San Diego attorney for advice about what workers’ compensation benefits may apply.
It is a good idea to be familiar with what benefits your company offers so that you know what to expect if you sustain an injury at work. If you believe you are entitled to more than you are receiving, or if you wonder whether you are entitled to benefits at all, our talented attorneys could provide the answers. Contact us now to learn more about workers’ compensation benefits in San Diego.