Under California law, San Francisco workers hurt on the job are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits to support them while they recover from an injury. Workers may collect these benefits whether they are injured in a single, one-time work accident or because of the repeated stress of performing their job.
California workers’ compensation benefits cover both the medical costs of treating a workplace injury and part of the income lost while in recovery. The rate of lost income benefits is based on a multitude of factors and is important to understand.
While injured San Francisco workers should be able to easily collect these benefits and focus on healing, insurance companies and employers may attempt to downplay the extent of the injury in a ploy to pay as little compensation to the injury victim as possible. For these reasons and many others, injured San Francisco workers should strongly consider retaining a qualified workers’ compensation attorney from the start of their claim.
When can I expect temporary workers’ compensation benefits?
In San Francisco, if an injured worker is hospitalized overnight or is unable to work for three days, they may be eligible to receive temporary income benefits. During recovery, workers may not perform alternative work duties and be paid their usual salary: temporary disability income benefits are only available to workers whose income is somehow affected by their injury.
Total or partial disability payments?
Workers hurt on the job may be entitled to either temporary total disability (TTD) payments or temporary partial disability payments (TPD). Workers unable to return to work in any capacity may receive TTD disability payments while they recover. Injured workers able to perform limited work duties earning less than their usual salary may be able to claim TPD payments to offset lost income.
After a workplace accident, workers will be evaluated by a physician to determine the extent of their injuries to determine if they are fit to return to work and if so, in what capacity. The treating doctor’s opinion is extremely important to determining whether the individual is eligible to return to their job or abstain from work and recover.
How much do workers’ compensation benefits pay?
Temporary disability payments may pay injured San Francisco workers up to two-thirds of their lost wages. These benefits are not subject to any taxes or deductions for Social Security and Medicare.
When are workers’ compensation disability payments made?
Injured workers should expect temporary disability payments within two weeks of their employer receiving the treating physician’s evaluation. The first payment will include an explanation of the injury rating and how payments were calculated.
After the initial payment, subsequent income benefits should be dispersed every two weeks. Workers’ compensation claims administrators are expected to keep injured workers informed of any changes to income benefits or when the payments will be terminated.
San Francisco workers’ compensation attorneys
While California has a clearly defined process for evaluating workplace injuries and dispensing temporary disability payments while the victim recovers, there can be complications. Payments may be delayed, treating physicians may understate injuries, and insurance claims adjusters may stymie payments for otherwise legitimate claims.
For these reasons and others, injured workers should strongly consider speaking to a qualified San Francisco workers’ compensation attorney. Attorneys have the skills and knowledge to get proper paperwork turned in, deal with insurance claims adjusters, and advocate for the wellbeing of their clients.