At the Law Office of Kenton D. Trigger, we know how challenging an on-the-job injury can be, especially if the injury prevents you from returning to work. If this has happened to you, you may be entitled to temporary disability benefits. These benefits are paid out at two-thirds of your former pre-tax income (subject to statutory maximums and minimums) and are paid every two weeks until your doctor has returned you to work or declared you permanent and stationary (has improved as much as you are going to). While this seems straightforward, there is a multitude of potential disputes that might erupt during this process including:
- whether your injury is serious enough to prevent you from doing your job,
- the amount of your total pre-tax salary and benefits; and
- the length of your recovery period.
These are only a few examples. I speak from experience when I say that this is no time to “go it alone.” It is critical that you consult with a skilled Thousand Oaks Temporary Disability Lawyer as soon as possible.
HOW IT WORKS
If a workplace injury prevents an employee from doing their usual job and, in the opinion of the treating physician is unable to work, temporary disability benefits will be paid for the period during which the employee is recovering. Generally, this benefit will continue to be paid until the injured worker has returned to work, whether in a modified position, with restrictions, or to full/regular duty, or when the treating doctor has determined the disability has become “permanent and stationary” (has improved as much as they are going to).
If temporary disability benefits are owed, the injured worker will receive two-thirds of their gross (pre-tax) wages up to the maximum weekly amount set by law. In determining your wages, you should report all forms of income received from work including, wages, food, lodging, tips, commissions, overtime, and bonuses. You should also report earnings from work performed at other jobs at the time you were injured.
Once eligible, payments for temporary disability will be made every two weeks for a maximum of two years. Depending on the circumstances, if the check is late the insurance company may be liable for a penalty of up to 25% for each late payment. Therefore, it is important to keep track of your payments and the period of time the check covers to ensure you are receiving all of your payments on a timely basis.
If you have questions about how this will affect your case, please call. As a knowledgeable and trusted Thousand Oaks Temporary Disability Attorney, I can help guide you through these matters. Call us at (805) 430-3300.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Deadlines apply to two acts that you must perform in order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits – notifying your employer and filing a claim.
- Telling your employer: You must send a written notification to your employer
- within 30 days of your injury, or
- for a chronic injury, within 30 days after it disables you, and you know or should have known that it is work-related.
- Filing a claim: You must also file a claim form with your employer within one year of your injury.
- Informing your union representative: Inform your union representative, preferably in writing, if you have one.
That is very likely; however, there is a loophole. You can still be entitled to benefits if your employer knew or should have known about your injury before the 30-day deadline expired. Even if that’s not the case, your failure to timely report your injury will no prevent you from obtaining benefits so long as it can be shown that the employer was not misled or prejudiced by the late notice. Don’t count on these loopholes, however – make every effort to notify your employer within 30 days.
You must fill out the DWC 1 claim form (your employer should have copies). You must use a pre-printed form, and your employer should have filled out the employer’s section before giving it to you.
You can appeal the denial of your claim to the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. This is a seven-member panel vested with full judicial powers. You are entitled to a hearing, and you are entitled to be represented by an attorney at the hearing.
It depends. An employer may fire you for a disability if it is necessitated by the realities of doing business. If your firing was arbitrary or discriminatory, however, California law entitles you to:
- Reimbursement of lost earnings
- A 50 percent increase in compensation up to $10,000
- Compensation for costs of up to $250
Yes, there are two types:
- Temporary partial disability benefits (if you can work during the term of your disability
- Temporary total disability benefits (if you cannot work at all during the term of your disability)
Benefits begin to accrue as soon as you are hospitalized as an inpatient or your doctor says you cannot work for more than three days. Payments generally end when you return to work, when you are authorized to return to work, or when your condition stabilizes.
You enjoy the following rights, among many others:
- The presumption that your injury is work-related, if no determination has been made on your claim within 90 days after you file it
- Up to $10,000 in medical treatment expenses while you are waiting for your claim to be accepted or rejected
- A dispute resolution process
- An increase in payments if they are late (see next question for details)
- If your employer refuses to allow you to perform even limited duties despite medical authorization, your temporary disability payments will continue as if you had never returned to work.
- If you return to work at lower pay or fewer hours on a temporary basis, you are entitled to a partial indemnity on a wage loss basis.
- If you are released for modified work on a permanent basis, your employer must either provide you with this work or offer you vocational rehabilitation benefits.
Yes. These maximums and minimums change from year to year. Although in most cases your temporary disability benefits will be based on a percentage of your actual income, you could receive more or less than this amount if your income is too small or too large.
Yes, You Can Afford Me – I Work on a Contingency Basis
You may have heard that lawyers charge by “billable hours” and that the hourly rate is quite steep. Not at my firm. My initial upfront fee is precisely zero, and zero will be your total bill from me if I don’t win your case. And by winning your case, I mean you receive actual financial benefits. My fees are calculated as a percentage of your eventual recovery, so I don’t win unless you do.
Call an Experienced Thousand Oaks Temporary Disability Lawyer Today
Whether you seek to resolve your claim through negotiations or formal proceedings, call me today at (805) 430-3300; otherwise, contact me online to schedule a free initial consultation on your case. I realize that you may not be able to make it to my office – so if you cannot come to me, I can come to you, whether you are at home or in the hospital.