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How Long Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Last in California?

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Posted By DAM Firm | May 3 2022 | Workers' Compensation

If you or somebody you care about has sustained a workplace injury in California, then you should be able to recover compensation for your losses. The California workers’ compensation system is robust and will provide coverage of medical bills and a significant portion of lost wages. However, you need to know how long these workers’ compensation benefits will last.

The Medical Benefits

Compensation for medical expenses related to a work injury should continue until a person reaches what their doctor considers maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is the point where any further medical treatment would be unlikely to improve a person’s condition. If a doctor thinks that a person has not yet reached MMI, then the workers’ compensation system will continue to pay benefits to the individual for their medical expenses.

The Financial Compensation for Lost Income

In general, workers’ compensation benefits in California will be paid out for 104 weeks, or two years after the injury occurs. However, this 104-week timeframe of benefits can be paid out across five years if an individual does not necessarily need to use the entire 104 weeks consecutively.

Additionally, there are certain severe workplace injuries, such as lung diseases, third-degree burns, and other catastrophic trauma, that could result in a person receiving up to 240 weeks of workers’ compensation benefits. This is equivalent to a little bit more than four years and six months worth of benefits.

Most workers’ compensation benefits will provide a person with 66-2/3% (66.333%) of their typical income before any taxes are applied. In the state of California, there is a maximum weekly payment, though these numbers are subject to change each year. We strongly encourage you to work with a skilled work injury attorney who can help you understand how much compensation you should be paid if you cannot work while recovering.

What About Long-Term Disability Payments?

There are some situations where individuals may be entitled to long-term disability (LTD) benefits if they sustain a permanent injury on the job. The LTD benefits could last for the rest of a person’s life, and these would provide a portion of a person’s lost wages and medical costs each month. California law does not require an employer to provide long-term disability policies to their workers. The only thing that California requires is that short-term disability benefits be available.

In the event a person sustains an on-the-job injury that causes a permanent disability, they will likely need to pursue compensation through Social Security Disability (SSD) insurance. SSD is often what individuals need to use after their workers’ compensation benefits end, and these are typically permanent, though there are reassessments required by the government every few years.

Work With an Attorney Today

If you or somebody you care about has sustained a workplace injury but are worried about how to pay for your medical bills or afford lost wages, you need to reach out to an attorney immediately. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney can help you recover the compensation you are entitled to and ensure you are treated fairly throughout the process.

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