If you were hurt on the job in California, you may be eligible to receive benefits through workers’ compensation. The state of California designed its workers’ compensation system to protect anyone injured on the job site. However, these rules are sometimes abused by employers and insurance agencies that are trying to save money by denying claims.

According to the Workers’ Compensation Act, injured workers are entitled to benefits based on their income, type of injury, and required medical treatment. Get help with your workers’ compensation settlement with the support of a legal representative who knows the laws and how to prove your case so you get every cent you are owed. If you have questions regarding California workers’ compensation rates, reach out to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Moody Law to understand how these laws apply to your situation.

Eligible California Workers Compensation Claims

Under the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), workers’ compensation claims are monitored, and disputes are resolved with administrative and judicial assistance. Based on the type and severity of the injury you sustained in the workplace, your rates might vary. Workers’ compensation insurance in California provides five standard benefits, including:

  • Medical Care is to be paid by your employer with the goal of your recovery from an injury or illness brought about by your job.
  • Temporary Disability Benefits will repay the wages that you lost due to your injury during your recovery process.
  • Permanent Disability Benefits will repay wages that you should have received if you never fully recover.
  • Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits will help you obtain further education or skills if you are not able to return to work for your employer. This applies to any injuries sustained during or after the year 2004 when the law was established.
  • Death Benefits provide payments to your spouse, children, or any other dependents if you sustain a fatal injury or illness while on the job.

The qualifications for CA workers’ compensation benefits are twofold: firstly, you have to be injured or acquire an illness while on the job. Secondly, you must notify your employer and file a workers’ compensation claim. Compensation rates in California can change year to year, but since 2004, the Insurance Commissioner established a report showing the classification and workers’ compensation rates comparison from the top 50 workers’ compensation insurers. Rates are not guaranteed to be the final ones shown on your policy but instead represent the average base rate that insurers can charge.

How to File Your California Workers’ Compensation

If you were injured at work, it is important to file for workers’ compensation benefits to receive the financial support you need while seeking medical treatment and recovering. California workers’ compensation rates do not include damages for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering or punitive damages. If you believe you are not receiving proper compensation based on the situation in which you were injured, it may help to reach out to a personal injury lawyer to see if you have a case.

The first step after being injured on the job is to report the injury or illness to your employer. Timely reporting helps you and your employer avoid problems or delays in benefits and medical care. A typical deadline for reporting an injury is 30 days, and if your injury or illness is reported after that deadline has passed, you may miss the chance to receive workers’ compensation benefits. According to California Code, Labor Code –  LAB § 5405, the legal statute of limitations on filing a workers’ compensation claim is traditionally twelve months from when the injury was sustained.

After you file a claim, your employer is required to authorize and pay for reasonable medical care that will cure or relieve the effects of your injury. Under new laws enacted in 2004, the California Department of Industrial Relations states that medical care that is administered must be based on scientifically proven medical treatment and guidelines. If, at any point in your claim, you disagree about the required medical treatment, you may be evaluated by a qualified medical evaluator, or if you are working with an attorney, you may be evaluated by an agreed medical evaluator. 

Updates: California Workers Compensation 2024

As of 2024, the Division of Workers’ Compensation set a minimum and maximum temporary total disability rate at $242.86 and $1619.15 per week, respectively. This temporary disability rate for 2024 is based on the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). Until the past year, these temporary rates had been rising annually. However, last year saw the first drop in SAWW, and thus, the Labor Code was updated to keep rates the same this year.

All California employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance, even if they have only one employee. Employers are required to pay for workers’ compensation benefits if any employee gets injured or catches an illness because of their job. Wages are any payment provided for an employee, day laborer, part-time, contract, or freelance worker, whether they are paid through salary, hourly rates, or payment by the job.

If you were injured on the job, you should expect to hear whether your workers’ compensation claim was accepted or denied by your employer within 90 days from the day the claim was reported. If you do not hear by then, it is safe to assume your injury will not be covered. Workers who believe their injuries should be covered should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to determine whether they have an adequate claim and discuss possible next steps.

Contact a Qualified California Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

Get started on your workers’ compensation claim by getting in touch with our experienced workers’ comp benefits attorney at Moody Law. Our team is dedicated to helping you every step of the way as you pursue a rightful settlement for your lost wages and the medical treatment required after your injuries on the job. Contact us via phone or online for a free consultation and get your questions answered today.