The amount of money you can receive from Workers Compensation will depend on the type of benefit you are looking to receive from Workers’ Compensation. Below is a summary of the different type of benefits and the amounts of money you can receive.
How Workers Compensation Works
In California, workers who suffer injuries or illnesses are qualified to receive financial compensation. So important is this provision that employers are legally required to obtain workers’ comp insurance for their workforce to insure they can pay on claims.
Depending on specific situations, the state may also step in with their own funds to help the injured employee – which again brings us to the question at hand: exactly how much can you get from a workers compensation claim?
Well the simple answer is: it depends.
Generally, workers in the state of California are able to receive workers compensation in 5 different categories. The exact amount of money you can receive from workers compensation will depend on different factors.
Type of Workers Compensation Benefits
Temporary Disability Benefits
Employees who are unable to carry out their jobs for a period of time due to a work-related injury or illness are entitled to temporary disability benefits. To qualify, you need a document from your doctor that verifies you can’t carry out part of your job thanks to the injury/illness.
Temporary disability benefits don’t usually kick in until the worker has missed three days of work or they’re hospitalized.
An employee suffering from temporary disability from work-related injuries is entitled to receive two-thirds of their average weekly wages, which is the gross amount they were earning when the injury occurred (before taxes). (Cal. Labor Code §§ 4453(c)(2), 4454, 4653 (2020).)
It is also worth noting that there are minimum and maximum amounts in the temporary disability bracket, and these numbers change each year. As of 2022, the maximum average weekly wage in California is $1,356.31, while the minimum is $203.44.
Save a few serious conditions such as HIV and lung diseases, temporary disability benefits cannot last for more than a 104-week period from the first time the injury/illness began.
Partial Temporary Disability Benefits
While not a category on its own, workers who suffer from temporary disability as a result of work-related injuries or illness but are capable of working limited hours are entitled to partial temporary disability benefits.
The amount paid out in this subcategory is the difference between the average weekly wage (as discussed above) and the amount the employee is able to earn from their limited time on the job.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning that temporary disability benefits may be intermittent in nature, i.e payments can stop and start again after a period of time. This occurs, for example, when an injury or illness resurfaces.
Permanent Disability Benefits
Workers who were injured on the job are entitled to permanent disability benefits if the doctor ascertains that the injury/illness has caused a permanent disability that will always affect the employee’s ability to work.
That is, regardless of the treatment they get, the medical condition is permanent.
Permanent disabilities are usually expressed in terms of percentages based on a handful of factors including age, occupation, and impairments. The dollar amount of permanent disability can be found on a chart that is prepared by the State of California and the range of money paid is $870 for a 1% permanent disability to $260,202.50 for a 99% permanent disability. These amounts of money will be paid in weekly installment of $290 per week, tax free. In some case the amount can be paid in a lump sum. Injuries that result in an injury with 70% or more of permanent disability is entitled to a life time payments.
Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits
There is a third category of workers compensation in California known as a Supplemental Job Displacement benefit wherein an employee who got injured on the job is entitled to a voucher of up to $6,000 if the employer does not offer an alternative within 60 days.
This alternative could be a regular or modified job in the same line of work. The point of the benefit is to help the worker in question acquire training and certification in a new line of work. Additionally, the State of California will mail you a check for $5,000 if you are enrolled in a re education program.
Medical benefits are just as the name implies – benefits paid for injured or ill workers not as a way to compensate for their average weekly wages, but to help take care of the medical costs associated with their recovery and rehabilitation.
It is required by California law that a physician or medical establishment should not bill an injured worker directly if they are suffering from a work-related injury.
Surviving children, family, and other dependents of an employee who died due to a work-related injury are entitled to a death benefit from the employer. The size of the benefit is dependent on a few factors including how many surviving dependents there are, and the date of the original injury.
Death benefits for one dependent are $250,000, $290,000 for two dependents and $320,000 for three dependents. Generally, a death benefit payment in California will include burial expenses of up to $10,000.
The Bottom Line of Calculating Workers Compensation
While we have provided the fundamental details you need to know about how much you can get from your workers’ compensation above, it is also worth mentioning that calculating the finer details and the ultimate figure can be very challenging.
There are so many subtle factors to consider depending on individual situations. This is why we ultimately advise that you contact a qualified practitioner to help with the final calculation.
Here at The Morris Law Group, we understand your situation and are qualified to help people like yourself work out their workers’ compensation claims to the maximum.
In addition, certain situations, such as your compensation not being paid on time, can qualify you for even more bonus compensation. All of these may be difficult to figure out on your own, and that is why we’re here for you.
Summary & Conclusion
Workers’ compensation under California law entitles all employees who suffer from work-related injuries or illnesses to a compensation package. The size of this package is dependent on the exact category of injury/illness.
The five general classifications include temporary disability benefits wherein workers are paid two-thirds of their average weekly wage for a temporary disability; permanent disability benefits for workers who suffer from permanent impediments; supplemental job displacement benefits for workers who need to acquire new training; medical care benefits to care of medical bills; and death benefits for surviving dependents of workers who died due to work-related injuries/illnesses.