What is Workers’ Compensation?

In California, the workers’ compensation system was created to pay for the medical treatment of work-related injuries or illnesses and provide temporary payment for lost wages and permanent disability payments that compensate for an injured employee’s decreased ability to compete in the open labor market.

If I receive work related medical care, do I have to pay for it?

Unlike regular health insurance, there are no deductibles or co-payments. Properly obtained medical care is paid 100 percent through workers’ compensation insurance. In addition to the medical care being paid, mileage and parking reimbursement is also to be provided. Tolls are also subject to reimbursement.

What are temporary payments for lost wages?

Temporary payments are called total temporary disability benefits. There are limits as to how long the payments can last. Generally, temporary benefits are limited to 2 years within a 5 year period. For some injuries, they can be five years.

What are permanent disability payments?

Permanent disability benefits can be in two forms. First, it can be based upon your whole person impairment which is generated by using the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fifth Edition. Second, the benefits can be based upon permanent total disability. This can mean that you have a statutory mandated permanent disability or in accordance with the fact. This is in part means that you are unable to compete in the open labor marker.

Is there any vocational retraining provided?

Employees injured on or after Jan. 1, 2004, who have a permanent partial disability caused by an injury, and whose employer does not offer other work, may qualify for the supplemental job displacement benefits (SJDB). SJDB comes in the form of a non-transferable voucher that can be used to pay for educational retraining or skill enhancement, or both, at state-approved or state-accredited schools. The offer of work must be on a DWC form.

Employees injured on or after Jan. 1, 2013, with injuries that result in permanent partial disability, and whose employer does not offer other regular, modified or alternative work, may also qualify for the SJDB voucher. The voucher amount is $6000 for all levels of permanent disability and can be used for training at a California public school or any other provider listed on the state’s eligible training provider list. It can also be used to pay licensing or certification and testing fees, to purchase tools required by a training course, to purchase computer equipment of up to $1,000 and to reimburse up to $500 in miscellaneous expenses.

Also, a Return-to-Work Supplement Program (RTWSP) provides a one-time $5,000 Return-to-Work supplement is issued to an injured worker who meets the eligibility criteria.

With more than 23 years of expertise in defending workers’ rights, the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, A Professional Law Corporation, is here to assist. If you have any questions concerning your rights, please do not hesitate to contact our offices.  Please contact us today concerning any workers’ compensation questions or issues.