two construction workers on a construction site, one of whom is injured and in pain on the ground

California, with its vibrant and diverse workforce, has a comprehensive workers’ compensation program in place in order to protect employees in the event of a work-related injury or illness. Under California Labor Code Section 3700, all California employers are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits for their employees. Understanding the different types of workers’ compensation benefits available is important for both employers and employees.

Medical Care

The first type of workers’ compensation benefit available is medical care. If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, you are entitled to receive the necessary medical treatment in order to recover. This may include doctor visits, surgeries, hospital stays, rehabilitation services, medications, and more. Essentially, this benefit is put in place to help ensure that injured employees receive timely and effective medical assistance so as to heal and return to work as soon as possible. 

Temporary Disability

Another type of workers’ compensation benefit is temporary disability which is for individuals who are temporarily injured but are expected to recover. This benefit applies if the employee is unable to return to work within three days of being injured or suffering from an illness. However, a physician must confirm that an employee is unable to return to work before the temporary disability benefits are able to be paid out. The goal of this benefit is to compensate employees for lost wages, and the payout is two-thirds of your average weekly earnings. It is important to note that there are statutory limits on the period in which the temporary disability benefits are paid, depending on the date and type of injury.

Permanent Disability

The next benefit is permanent disability which applies if your work-related injury or illness results in a permanent impairment that leaves you unable to carry out the duties of your job. The amount of compensation that you will receive is calculated with a complex formula that takes a number of related factors into account – extent of injury, age, occupation, and date of injury. The specifics regarding the calculations of permanent disability are found in California’s Schedule for Rating Permanent Disabilities

Job Displacement Benefits

Job displacement benefits is another type of workers’ compensation benefit that you may be able to receive. This benefit applies if your injury or illness turns into a permanent disability that does not allow you to return to work at your previous job. The benefit helps provide financial assistance for you to go through skill enhancement and retraining programs to help you transition and learn how to work in a new occupation. The goal of this benefit is to allow you to pursue an alternative occupation and reintegrate into the workforce.

Death Benefits 

In the tragic event that an employee suffers a fatal injury or illness on the job, the spouse, children, or dependents may be able to pursue death benefits. These benefits include funeral and burial expenses as well as financial support for dependents. The benefits are typically paid out at the same weekly rate as temporary disability benefits. However, the total amount paid out is based upon the number of dependents the deceased had. 

Speak With a Lawyer

As we have discussed, there are a number of different workers’ compensation benefits that an employee may be entitled to if they suffer an injury or illness at work. The different benefits that are available are dependent on a number of factors and can oftentimes lead to confusion. Therefore, it is important to speak with a Los Angeles work accident lawyer about the workers’ compensation benefits you may be entitled to and the legality of the situation at hand. Workers’ compensation claims differ from other types of claims, therefore having the legal expertise of a lawyer will greatly benefit you.

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