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California Workers Compensation - Employee Benefits

Important workers compensation benefit information for injured California employees

California Workers Compensation Medical Benefits -

  • Injured California workers have full medical benefits with no limitation of cost or length of time.

Who Chooses the Physician for Injured Workers in California -

  • This is somewhat complicated in the State of California. A California employer has the right to make initial choice of physician. State law indicates that after a period of time the employee may choose. If the employer or the employer's insurance company has not set up a "medical provider network", employer has initial selection of physician and employee can change to physician of own choosing after 30 days. Any employee, who notifies their employer in writing prior to an injury, that they have a personal physician who provides non-occupational health care coverage, has the right to be treated by their own personal physician after a job-related injury. The state legislature has established that a maximum of seven percent of all employees statewide may predesignate. An injured employee has the right to be treated by their personal physician at the begining of injury also applies if the employer has failed to post notice of workers' compensation rights as required by state law. If an employer or insurer has established a medical provider network, then under most conditions the employer controls the initial selection of physician and all care must be provided within the network for the life of the claim.

California Workers Compensation Disability Benefits -

  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits:
    • Temporary disability (TD) benefits are payments you get from the claims administrator if you canít do your usual job while recovering from your injury or illness. TD benefits are not taxable. If you can do some work while recovering but earn less than before the injury, you will receive temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. If you canít work at all while recovering you will receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. Some employers have plans that pay all your wages for all or part of the time you are temporarily disabled. These plans are called salary continuation. There are different types of salary continuation plans. Some use your vacation and/or sick leave to supplement the temporary disability payments required by state law. Check with your employer to find out if you are covered by one of these plans.
    • TD payments begin when your doctor says you canít do your usual work for more than three days or you get hospitalized overnight. Payments must be made every two weeks. Generally, TD stops when you return to work, or when the doctor releases you for work, or says your injury has improved as much as itís going to.
    • As a general rule, you are paid two-thirds of your gross (pre-tax) wages at the time of injury, with minimum and maximum rates 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 temporary disability benefits.

  • Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits:
    • Most workers recover from their job injuries. But some continue to have problems. If your treating doctor says you will never recover completely or will always be limited in the work you can do, you may have a permanent disability. This means that you may be eligible for permanent disability (PD) benefits. PD benefits are payments that help make up for limitations in your ability to compete for jobs or earn a living in the future. However, you donít have to lose your current job to be eligible for PD benefits.
    • Permanent disability is any lasting disability from your work injury or illness that affects your ability to earn a living. If your injury or illness results in permanent disability you are entitled to permanent disability (PD) benefits, even if you are able to go back to work.
    • A doctor determines if your injury or illness caused permanent disability (PD).
    • Once your doctor says you have permanent disability, the claims administrator will estimate how much you should receive and begin making payments to you, even if the final percentage of disability has not been calculated. PD benefits are paid in addition to temporary disability (TD) benefits you received.
    • After the amount of PD in a claim is determined, there is usually a settlement or award for benefits. This award must be approved by a workers' compensation judge.

  • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits:
    • See above PTD section for information on California's PD benefits.

California Workers Death/Dependency Benefits -

  • Death benefits are payable to a surviving spouse and children as a percentage of the employee's wages banded between a minimum and subject to a cap. There is also a burial allowance available.

California Workers Compensation Attorney Fees -

  • Attorney fees are determined on each individual case basis. California attorneys are not allowed to collect a fee for representation of an injured worker.

More specific workers compensation employee benefit information for this state can be found by following the link below. It will take you directly to the state web page containing employee's workers compensation rights and benefits:

Important Notice Please Read: All information on this page is provided only as a reference. While we strive to mantain accurate information on this site please realize workers compensation laws are complicated and subject to change at any time. If you need help with a workers compensation problem or have a specific situation or question please contact our office. Otherwise please consult your states governing authority or an attorney in your state of residency for assistance.

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