California law requires any business with at least one employee to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. With this broad rule in place, the majority of workers in the state have workers’ compensation benefits, even if they do not realize it. Furthermore, most people who do know they have workers’ compensation coverage will admit that they do not understand the benefits that can be provided in the event of a workplace accident.
Benefit entitlements available to the average California worker are:
- Medical treatment coverage: Any medical treatment or process that is deemed necessary to treat an injured worker should be covered in full. Issues arise when insurance companies try to contest what is necessary and what is elective.
- Mileage reimbursement: Workers’ compensation claimants can be reimbursed for 54 cents per mile they drive to necessary medical appointments. This reimbursement amount is updated every few years to reflect a fair amount based on gas prices, cost of living expenses, etc.
- Temporary disability pay: Two-thirds of an injured worker’s average weekly pay, up to a certain cap, can be provided if the claimant misses an extensive amount of work, usually five scheduled shifts. Temporary disability pay can be approved for up to 104 weeks across 5 years, or a maximum of 2 consecutive years.
- Permanent disability pay: For severe injuries and lifelong conditions, permanent disability pay can become available, assuming those health complications directly affect the claimant’s ability to hold gainful employment in any field. Permanent disability pay will vary greatly from case to case. The payment installations and how long they are provided depends on the work’s injuries, age, occupation, and other factors.
- Life pension pay: Severe injuries that cause a disability rating of at least 70% can provide the claimant permanent disability payments each week for an unlimited amount of weeks. This is the only type of workers’ compensation pay benefit that cannot be eventually limited by a duration cap.
- Vocational retraining: Up to $6,000 can be provided to an injured worker for vocational retraining courses and classes. The purpose of this benefit is to allow the claimant to find gainful employment in another field if their injury precludes continued work in their current field.
- Death benefits: When a worker suffers a fatal workplace accident, special death benefits can be provided to their family members. Death benefits often include the cost of any final medical care and expenses related to a burial, but there may also be a lump sum paid to reflect the wages the deceased would have earned through employment had the accident not happened.
Do you have more questions about the benefits available to you as a worker in Southern California? Call (818) 946-0608 to connect with the Law Offices of Wax & Wax. We are the trusted law firm for people in Santa Clarita, Glendale, and everywhere in between.