Visalia Temporary Disability Workers’ Compensation Claims

Workplace injuries are always difficult to endure because you need time to heal. You may wonder how you will pay your bills if you cannot work and worry your employer will try to fire you if you file for workers’ compensation benefits. You should be relieved to know they cannot fire you for filing a claim, and if you are disabled temporarily, you are entitled to lost wages and payments for medical care.

The most important information to remember about temporary disability payments is your doctor must certify your injury is work-related. You must be unable to return to work, able to return but only for reduced hours, or cannot return to perform your regular job but could perform another. If your employer offers you another job your physician says you can perform, you will probably not be eligible for benefits if it was a bonified offer. Contact a seasoned attorney to discuss Visalia temporary disability workers’ compensation claims.

Temporary vs. Permanent Disability Benefits

Both temporary and permanent disability benefits are categorized as partial or total and affect the amount of compensation or the length of time an employee can collect benefits.

Temporary Disability is usually paid in the initial stages of the case while you are getting treatment until a doctor decides you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement.  This means they don’t anticipate you will get better or worse in the next 12 months. After that, if you have permanent residuals, you may be entitled to permanent disability payments.

How Long Can an Employee Collect Temporary Disability?

Once an employee’s physician has certified they cannot work or must limit the type of work, the physician must re-evaluate the employee every 45 days and report recommendations about restrictions and ability to work to the claims administrator, according to the California Industrial Regulations, Title 8, § 9785(f). If the employee’s physician clears a return to work, benefits will end.

Generally, an employee can collect temporary disability for 104 weeks within five years from the date of injury. Some conditions extend the time to up to 240 weeks, including:

  • Devastating burns
  • Amputations of any body part
  • Acute hepatitis B or C
  • High-speed contact with or chemical burns to an employee’s eyes
  • Chronic lung disease

Temporary total disability pays two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly wage up to the statutory maximum, with limited exclusions, such as for police officers and firefighters. An employee who can work part-time receives temporary partial disability based on the wages they lose from hours they do not work.

Temporary disability payments are made every two weeks. Once the physician issues a report stating the employee cannot work or cannot work the same hours as before, the insurance company should issue the first payment within 14 days. When payments are late, an employee receives an additional 10 percent. A lawyer in Visalia could help you understand the benefits you will receive from temporary disability.

Disputing an Insurance Company’s Temporary Disability Denial

An injured employee may believe the insurance company’s denial of a workers’ compensation claim is an error, or there are contrasting opinions by more than one physician causing a denial. Employees can appeal with additional filings.

An Application for Adjudication of Claim and a Declaration of Readiness inform the court that an employee in Visalia wants a hearing and is ready to proceed with evidence supporting a favorable ruling for their temporary disability workers’ compensation claim.

Get Help With Temporary Disability Workers’ Compensation Claims

When you are injured on the job, you will miss work or have to accept light duty until you heal. The state provides safeguards to pay your lost wages and medical care. However, the insurance system to apply for and receive those benefits can be complex, and an administrator can deny your claim if they have reservations.

The benefits the state affords you are lifesavers when you have yourself or a family to support. Be proactive when you are injured. A dedicated lawyer could file and manage your Visalia temporary disability workers’ compensation claim and appeal it if denied. Contact us to learn more.