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Law Office specializes in Worker Compensation in Redding and Susanville, CA and surrounding Shasta and Lassen Counties.
- March 2013
Those injured at work often wonder what benefits are available to them. Unless you are versed in the Work Comp system, Workers' comp system can be quite confusing.
Worker's Compensation insurance provides five basic benefits: medical treatment, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits, and death benefits. Once you have filed a DWC-1, you become eligible for these benefits.
Workers' Comp Insurance Five Basic Benefits:
Medical Treatment: Paid for by your employer to help you recover from an injury or illness caused by work. Doctors in California's workers' compensation system are required to provide evidence-based medical treatment. That means they must choose treatments scientifically proven to cure or relieve work-related injuries and illnesses. Those treatments are laid out in a set of guidelines that provide details on which treatments are effective for certain injuries, as well as how often the treatment should be given (frequency), the extent of the treatment (intensity), and for how long (duration), among other things.
To comply with the evidence-based medical treatment requirement, the state of California has adopted a medical treatment utilization schedule. This schedule includes specific body regions guidelines adopted from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine's (ACOEM) Practice Guidelines, plus guidelines for acupuncture, chronic pain and therapy after surgery. The DWC has a committee that continuously evaluates new medical evidence about treatments and incorporates that evidence into its guidelines.
Temporary disability benefits: Payments if you lose wages because your injury prevents you from doing your usual job while recovering. As a general rule, TD pays two-thirds of the gross (pre-tax) wages you lose while recovering from a job injury. However, you cannot receive more than the maximum weekly amount set by law. Your wages are figured out by using all forms of income you receive from work: wages, food, lodging, tips, commissions, overtime and bonuses. Wages can also include earnings from work you did at other jobs at the time you were injured. Give proof of these earnings to the claims administrator. The claims administrator will consider all forms of income when calculating your TD benefits. Please see the benefits chart for current benefit rates.
The minimum and maximum rates are adjusted annually.
There are two types of TD benefits. If you cannot work at all while recovering, you receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. If you can't work your full schedule while recovering, you receive temporary partial disability benefit (TPD) payments.
Permanent disability benefits: Payments if you don't recover completely. Most workers fully recover from job injuries but some continue to have medical problems. Permanent disability (PD) is any lasting disability that results in a reduced earning capacity after maximum medical improvement is reached. If your injury or illness results in PD you are entitled to PD benefits, even if you are able to go back to work.
PD benefits are limited. If you lose income, PD benefits may not cover all the income lost. If you experience losses unrelated to your ability to work, PD benefits may not cover those losses.
Supplemental job displacement benefits: Vouchers to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement if you don't recover completely and don't return to work for your employer. For date of injury on or after Jan. 1, 2004 and prior to Jan. 1, 2013, employees who do not return to work for their employer within 60 days of the end of TD payments will receive a voucher. The amount of the voucher is based on the percentage of disability.
An employer will not be liable for providing the SJDB to an employee if, within 30 days of the end of TD payments, an offer of modified or alternative work is made, and the employee rejects or fails to accept the offer in the form and manner prescribed by the DWC administrative director.
For injuries occurring on or after Jan. 1, 2013, the voucher amount is $6,000.00 regardless of the PD rating. The voucher will be due 60 days after a treating doctor, QME, or AME declares the employee permanent and stationary and issues a report outlining the employee's work capacities if the employer does not offer the employee a job.
Death benefits: Payments to your spouse, children or other dependents if you die from a job injury or illness.
If you have been injured on the job, or if you have a medical condition or disability which you believe was caused or aggravated by your work activities, immediately file a report of injury with your employer. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us for a free consultation to discuss your rights, benefits, and options.
Redding Law Offices
Orthopedic injuries include:
Internal injuries include:
- Compensable consequences from orthopedic injury include internal and psychological consequences as well as corresponding body part issues.
- Joint injuries include wrist, hand, knee, ankle, shoulder injuries and others as well as continuous trauma (CT) injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Neck, back and spinal injuries include CT and specific injuries, and they can often cause long-term disabilities, such as paralysis.
- Burn injuries can be caused by chemical exposure, fire and electric shock.
- Amputation and crush injuries often involve heavy machinery, loads or vehicles, and they can also result from defective machinery or negligence at work.
Psychological injuries include:
- Stress, hypertension, damage from chemical exposure or cascading injuries from other issues.
Catastrophic injuries include:
- Emotional, discriminatory and stress-related matters.
- Wrongful death, burns, impalement, paralysis or any injury which causes serious complications.
Key Practice Areas:
What Benefits Are Injured Workers Entitled in a Work Comp Claim?
Contact Redding Law Offices Today
Our Redding work comp lawyers are ready to evaluate your specific case and work for the assistance you need to receive the benefits you are entitled. Call us at (530) 222-9700 or toll free at 1.800.368.8410; or e-mail us to schedule a free initial consultation.
Call for a FREE CONSULTATION 800.368.8410