Frequently Asked Questions

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While you are off work and undergoing active medical treatment, you are entitled to temporary total disability benefits, which are paid bi-weekly. These benefits are not taxable against you. In addition, you can receive temporary partial disability benefits if you can perform some work while recovering, but are earning less than before the injury. Temporary partial disability benefits generally pertain to situations where your employer can meet your doctor’s restrictions, but can only place you in a position that results in a demotion of pay.

When and how workers’ compensation claim is settled?

Your case is not ripe for settlement until you are released from treatment by your treating physician, and he or she issues a final medical report addressing all aspects of your injury. This final medical report should provide the permanent disability rating you have suffered as a result of the injury, as well as explain what type of medical care you will need in the future. Also, this final report should indicate if you are unable to do the essential functions of your job in light of your medical condition.


Workers’ compensation system, or also known as workmans’ comp, is a state-mandated insurance coverage program which provides certain benefits to the injured workers in case their injuries or illnesses is job related. Each state has its own different and unique Workmans’ Comp program. Also the federal government administers a workers’ compensation program for federal employees and certain other types of employees. Workers’ Comp is a no fault system, where employer provides workman’ comp coverage for the injured employee without fault to get certain benefits and the injured employee waives his/her right to sue his/her employer or coworkers for their negligent act that may have caused the injury.


Generally, in most instances, only injured workers may file a workers’ compensation claim for their own work-related injury or illness. However, in those instances where the injury or illness results in death, spouses and other dependents of the injured worker also may file a claim for burial expenses or death benefits through the workers’ compensation system.


Employers CAN BE responsible for neglecting unsafe working conditions and equipment if they were aware of the shortcomings of the same. Remedial action not taken when prior information of dangerous work conditions is discovered can be used to hold the employer responsible for the accident. Unsafe equipment can also drag the manufacturer’s of the defective equipment to court. Injuries may result from the workplace being unsafe. These may include conditions at work or unsafe working equipment. For more detail see Serious and Willful Claim.


Under the workers’ compensation law, you are entitled to the treatment “reasonably necessary” to cure and relieve your injury. Your employer’s insurance company has 90 days to investigate your claim before deciding whether to admit or deny your claim. However, you have the right to receive medical treatment right away. As such, while investigating your claim, your employer’s insurance carrier must approve medical treatment(1) for your injury within one working day after you submit a claim form (DWC 1). The treatment you get must be within medical treatment guidelines set by the state and the total cost of the treatment you are entitled to during the investigation cannot be more than $10,000.00. You should also be reimbursed for transportation costs including mileage, parking, and tolls for trips to and from the doctor’s office. Your employer’s insurance carrier also pays for your out of pocket prescriptions, physical therapy visits, and other medical costs. A competent California workers’ compensation attorney will be able to help you preserve your right to select a proper doctor to treat your work injury or illness, which can have an everlasting effect on you and your family.


The death benefit amount depends on the number of people who are totally and or partially depending on the deceased employee. Total dependents are individuals who completely relied on the worker for financial support, while partial dependents are individuals who only partly relied on the worker for financial support.


There are generally two types of workplace injuries in workers’ compensation. The first type of workplace injury is “Specific Injury”, which happens by a specific incident such as falling, tripping, carrying heavy object, etc. The second type of workplace injury is “Cumulative Trauma”, which is caused by having the employee doing a repetitive action over a period of time, causing an injury to a particular body part (i.e. typing for a period of five years creates carpal tunnel in the wrist). Regardless of the type of workplace injury, the ramifications can last a lifetime.


The clock is ticking!If you got injured at work, you need to file your claim without any delay.Under California Workers’ Compensation Law(1), to start the process of receiving your workers’ compensation benefits, you must report your work injury to your employer as soon as possible after it occurs. To report your work injury and start the process, you need to file a “Claim Form” (DWC 1) with your employer. Your employer must then file the workers’ compensation claim with its workers’ compensation insurance carrier so that your workers’ compensation claim will be paid and your treatment begins.


When you are released from treatments by your Primary Treating Physician, or an evaluator such as QME or Agreed Medical Evaluator If the releasing doctor’s medical option that reached your “Maximum Medical Improvement(1)” (MMI) or so-called you became a “Permanent and stationary” (P&S), you should receive your final medical report. The physician who prepares this final medical report should provide a percentage of the “Whole Person Impairment” (WPI) you have suffered as a result of the injury, as well as explain what type of medical care you will need in the future.