Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Santa Ana

You are covered under Workers’ Compensation benefits if you are an employee in California. All employers must provide this coverage in California.

Workers’ Compensation provides medical care and temporary disability benefits to anyone who gets hurt at work or in the course of their employment and is temporarily unable to work. An employee is entitled to benefits regardless of who was at fault for the condition that caused their injury.

If you were injured on the job, it is important to understand Workers’ Compensation benefits in Santa Ana. Individuals with questions about whether they are entitled to benefits in a specific situation should consult a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney for guidance.

No-Cost Medical Care for Work-Related Injuries

The Workers’ Compensation program provides medical care for all work-related injuries. The injury does not have to be specifically related to the worker’s job function to be covered by the program. For example, a data entry operator could receive benefits for a repetitive stress injury caused by typing or for a knee injury caused by a fall..

Benefits associated with workers compensation provided medical care include treatment in an emergency room or an urgent care centerWorker’s Compensation benefits will also pay for surgery, physical therapy, and rehabilitation services. The employee’s benefits include:

  • Diagnostic procedures
  • X-rays
  • Other imaging studies
  • Lab tests
  • Prescription drugs

Doctor visits are covered, and the program will pay for transportation to doctor and hospital appointments.

Temporary Disability Benefits Pay a Portion of the Worker’s Salary

When a work-related injury prevents an employee from working for at least three days, Worker’s Compensation pays them temporary disability benefits. The program will pay two-thirds of their weekly wage in most cases. There is a cap on the dollar amount of weekly benefits, so high-salaried workers might receive a lower percentage of their weekly wages. The minimum weekly benefit might exceed this two-thirds threshold for some low-paid workers.

Sometimes an employee can work but the injury causes limitations. For example, perhaps the injury prevents them from lifting heavy objects or standing for extended periods. If the employer can assign the worker to another position that conforms to their limitation, the employee must accept the job. According to state laws, the Workers’ Compensation benefits in this situation include two-thirds of the difference between a Santa Ana employee’s regular wage and the wage they earn while they work in the alternative job.

Permanent Disability Benefits

In some cases, an injury permanently impacts a worker’s ability to do their job. If a physician certifies that a condition has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) but some impairment remains, the physician will assign the worker a disability rating that entitles them to permanent disability benefits. An employee who disagrees with an MMI determination or a disability rating should consult a Santa Ana attorney who understands Workers’ Compensation law for advice about challenging the decision.

Partial Permanent Disability

Permanent disability could be partial, meaning the employee can work but has some limitations. Depending on the degree of disability, California Labor Code §4658 requires the worker to receive two-thirds of their pre-injury wage for a set number of weeks. This is equivalent to anywhere between 1% and 99% disability.

Total Permanent Disability

Total permanent disability means that the injury renders the worker unable to support themselves. Paralysis and loss of vision or hearing render a worker eligible for total permanent disability benefits, and other conditions also could qualify in a specific case.  In these cases, an employee is considered to be 100% disabled.

A worker with a permanent total disability is entitled to receive two-thirds of their pre-injury wages for the rest of their life. Sometimes, insurers offer permanently disabled workers a lump sum settlement. Local workers should carefully evaluate the offer with the help of an experienced attorney before accepting a lump sum.

Consult a Santa Ana Attorney About Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you get hurt while working, your benefits provide an essential safety net. They ensure you receive the medical care you need and have money coming in while you are off work. If a work-related injury permanently affects your earning power, the program will pay you compensation based on your pre-injury weekly wages.

The worker’s compensation program can be confusing but retaining a local attorney could ensure you take advantage of all it has to offer. Call us the moment you are injured to learn more about Workers’ Compensation benefits in Santa Ana.