Temporary disability benefits are payments employees receive if they lose wages because of an injury that prevents them from working or doing their usual job while recovering.
Employees may be entitled to temporary disability benefits if a doctor says that the employee is unable to do the regular duties of his or her job for more than three days, the employee is hospitalized overnight, or if your employer does not offer you other work that pays your usual income while you are recovering from a work-related injury.
There are two types of benefits you may receive if you qualify for temporary disability benefits. The benefits you receive depend on the severity of your disability and if you can still perform the regular duties of your job. The two types of temporary disability benefits are:
If you believe you are entitled to disability benefits, but have not received them, contact Berry, Smith & Bartell’s Bakersfield temporary disability lawyers to schedule a free and confidential consultation. We will review your workers’ compensation claim and work-related injury to help you determine which benefits you may be entitled to receive.
An employee may be entitled to receive temporary disability benefits if he or she suffers a disability due to a work-related accident. There are many types of accidents and work-related tasks that may result in a disabling injury, including:
If you have been injured in a work-related accident, it is important that you understand that workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system. This means you do not have to prove that your employer or co-worker is responsible for causing your injury to receive workers’ compensation benefits, including temporary disability. You will be provided these benefits if your injury is work-related.
In some situations, employees can disqualify themselves from receiving temporary disability benefits because of:
All too often, employers dispute their employees’ workers compensation claims by accusing the employee of filing a false report or failing to correctly file a claim. When this occurs, you should consider consulting with a temporary disability attorney who understands California’s workers’ compensation system and can help you get the benefits you need.
Typically, the amount of temporary disability benefits you receive while recovering from an on-the-job injury is two-thirds of your regular income. However, you cannot receive more than the maximum weekly amount set by law.
The maximum amount of disability benefits California employees can receive changes annually. According to the California Department of Industrial Relation’s benefits table, the following benefits amounts may apply to your claim:
To decide the amount of benefits you may receive, a claims administrator will consider several aspects of your employment and ability to earn an income:
You must provide proof of all earnings to the claims administrator, who will consider all forms of income when deciding your temporary disability benefits.
If you believe you have been provided less temporary disability benefits than you deserve, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney for help. A California temporary disability lawyer can review all forms of income you were earning at the time of your accident to determine the true amount of weekly temporary disability benefits you may be entitled to receive.
To receive temporary disability benefits, you will first need to receive medical treatment from a health care provider. He or she must diagnose you with a disability that prevents you from working for more than three days or requires you to be hospitalized overnight.
Then, you will need to file a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1) to begin the workers’ compensation process. Your employer must provide you a copy of this form within one day of you reporting your injury.
Once you have completed form DWC 1 and submitted it to your employer, the insurance company has 14 days to mail you a letter telling you the status of your claim. If you do not receive this letter, contact your employer’s insurance company immediately.
If your employer’s insurance company sends you a letter stating that your temporary disability benefits have been approved, you will begin receiving benefits. Once you have received your first benefits payment, you will receive payments every two weeks on the same day for the amount of time you are eligible.
You typically stop receiving temporary disability benefits when your health care provider determines that your injury has healed enough for you to return to work.
However, temporary disability benefit payments will not last for more than 104 weeks within a five-year period from the date of your injury. However, payments for severe injuries that cause long-term disability, such as burn injuries or chronic lung disease, can last longer than 104 weeks.
In rare situations a claims administration may not be able to determine if your injury is covered by workers’ compensation. When this occurs, the claims administrator must delay your first temporary disability payment to investigate your claim.
Typically, delays do not last more than 90 days. If there is a delay, you will be notified through a letter sent to you by a claims administrator. The letter must state why your benefit payments have been delayed, what additional information the claims administrator needs and when a decision will be made.
If the insurer provides a reasonable excuse for a delayed or late payment, you will be owed an additional 10 percent of your disability payment. If you do not receive a reasonable excuse for a delayed or late payment, your insurer will owe you 25 percent of your disability payment.
It is important that you remain attentive when dealing with an insurer providing you temporary disability benefits. A helpful temporary disability benefits lawyer in Fresno will know how to handle your claim to ensure you receive the amount of benefits you deserve on time each payment period. To find out more about how an attorney can help you, contact Berry, Smith & Bartell for a free and confidential consultation.