If you or somebody you care about sustains an injury while working, you should be able to count on the workers’ compensation system in California to help cover injury-related expenses. However, it is important to understand what kind of compensation is available to those who sustain on the job injuries. At DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo, our workers’ compensation attorneys in Riverside discuss what kinds of benefits injured workers are entitled to.
1. Coverage of Medical Expenses
One of the most pressing concerns that injured workers have is whether or not they will be covered for their medical expenses, as these can become tremendously expensive. Under California workers’ compensation laws, an injured worker is entitled to receive coverage of all medical treatment related to an on the job injury. This injury will be treated by a doctor inside of a network called the Medical Provider Network (MPN).
Doctors in the MPN will follow a course of treatment through a process known as the Utilization Review. A doctor will treat an injured worker until they reach maximum medical improvement. These benefits will cover emergency medical treatment, extended care, physical therapy, medical devices, prescription medications, and more.
2. Temporary Disability Benefits
Temporary disability benefits are available to pay for lost wages if an employee is unable to work while they are injured. These benefits will pay for two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wage (AWW), though they can only be paid for a maximum of 104 weeks within a five-year period from the date the injury occurs.
3. Permanent Disability Benefits
For more severe injuries, workers may be entitled to permanent disability benefits if they sustain a loss of future earning capacity. These benefits will be rated on a disability scale ranging from 0% to 100%. Any worker who scores the disability rating below 100% will be considered partially disabled. They would receive weekly benefits for only a set period of time. If a worker is considered 100% disabled, they will receive weekly payments at their temporary disability rate for the remainder of their life.
4. Job Displacement and Rehabilitation Benefits
If a worker is unable to return to the same job they were in due to their injury, they may be entitled to receive a $6,000 supplemental job displacement voucher. This voucher can be used on various expenses to help obtain alternative employment, including tools for training, computer equipment, licensing and exam fees, placement and resume services, etc.
Employers can avoid paying this voucher, but they will need to offer the employee an alternate, regular, or modified work schedule under the following circumstances:
The job is 85% of the salary of their previous job
The job lasts at least 12 months
The job is in within a reasonable commuting distance of the worker’s home
Will You Need an Attorney?
If you have sustained an on the job injury, you may need to secure an attorney to help get the benefits you are entitled to. At DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo, we are dedicated to helping injured workers secure full compensation for these claims. Let our Riverside workers’ compensation attorneys get to work on your behalf today. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling (951) 977-7787.