How Long Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Last?

holding wrist with carpal tunnelWorkers’ compensation benefits can be very important for injured workers, but they are not paid out forever. They end after a certain point.

Below, learn more about how long these benefits last and when they typically stop being paid out. If you were injured in a work-related accident or suffer from an employment-related illness, request a free, no-obligation consultation with our workers’ compensation attorneys and find out if you may be eligible for benefits.

How Long Is Medical Care Paid?

Workers’ compensation benefits cover medical care pertaining to your injury, including:

  • Hospital services
  • Doctor visits
  • Medications
  • Lab tests
  • Medical equipment
  • Other treatment
  • Travel reimbursement for medical visits

Workers’ compensation medical benefits cover all medical care found to be reasonably necessary for the treatment of your work-related injury or illness, whether the treatment is used to cure your condition or relieve its effects.

Medical treatment for your work-related injury or illness is paid for as long as it is found to be medically necessary. California uses a medical treatment utilization schedule (MTUS) that outlines treatments that have been scientifically proven to either cure or relieve various work-related injuries and illnesses. The MTUS dictates how long a patient receives treatment, how often the treatment is utilized and more.

If your treating physician wishes to provide a treatment outside of the MTUS’s scope, there must be evidence that supports why the treatment is needed and how the treatment will be effective for curing or relieving your condition. If a treatment outside of the MTUS guidelines is not approved, workers’ compensation benefits will not cover the associated medical costs.

Length of Temporary Disability Benefits

If your work-related injury or illness stops you from performing work in the same capacity you did prior to your injury, you may be granted temporary disability benefits. Temporary total disability benefits (TTD) are given if you cannot work during your recovery, whereas temporary partial disability benefits (TPD) are given if you are able to perform some work as you recover.

Temporary disability benefits are paid for a maximum of 104 weeks within the five-year period starting on the date of your injury. You may qualify to receive benefits up to a maximum of 240 weeks if you sustained certain injuries, such as chronic lung disease or severe burns.

When They End

Temporary disability benefits often end when:

  • Your treating physician approves you to return to work
  • You go back to work and are paid at the same wage as before the injury
  • You have reached maximum medical improvement and your injury will not get any better
  • You reach the maximum number of weeks benefits are allowed

Permanent Disability Benefits

If your doctor believes you will not make a complete recovery from your work-related injury or illness and your injury will always limit the types of work you are able to perform, you may be granted permanent disability benefits.

Once your condition reaches the point of becoming permanent and stationary (P&S), your treating physician creates a report regarding:

  • Your medical condition
  • Work restrictions
  • Ability to perform your old job
  • Future medical costs
  • How much your disability is caused by your work or other factors

If you are approved for permanent disability benefits, payments must start within 14 days of the end of your temporary disability benefits. Permanent partial disability benefits are paid based on your permanent disability rating. A 100 percent rating means you are permanently totally disabled.

Call Our Licensed Lawyers for Legal Help

If you suffered a work-related injury or illness, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits that cover your medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. The Fresno workers’ compensation attorneys of Berry, Smith & Bartell fight to ensure injured workers receive the benefits they qualify for.

Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our legal team today. There are no upfront fees to pay and payment is only due if we recover compensation on your behalf.


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Bakersfield, CA 93301

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Fresno, CA 93704

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