2024 How Long Can You Be on Workers’ Comp in California?

Barry Law Group
2024 How Long Can You Be on Workers’ Comp in California?

Workers’ compensation is an essential employee right. Employees also have the right to a safe workplace. When you are injured, or contract an occupational illness, you deserve compensation for your damages. California workers’ compensation provides several benefits to employees who are injured, temporarily disabled, or permanently disabled because of their work. If you are receiving workers’ compensation, it is important that you know how long you will receive those benefits.

Understanding What Impacts Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation covers medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and other costs related to a workplace injury or condition. Some people receive benefits for two years, while others receive them for their entire lives. The duration of your benefits depends on the following:

  • The type of benefits you qualify for
  • The type and severity of your injury
  • Your disability rating
  • How long your recovery will take
  • Whether you can return to work

Depending on these factors, you may receive temporary or permanent disability benefits. To maximize the benefits you earn, you should work with an Encino workers’ compensation lawyer. Many people who suffer from a workplace injury are unaware of the number of benefits they are eligible for.

Temporary Disability Benefits

When people refer to workers’ compensation benefits, they most often mean temporary disability benefits. These are the most common benefits that employees receive. These begin after you file a claim. They apply until you either return to work or fully recover.

Temporary disability benefits reimburse injured workers for lost income during their recovery. In California, you receive 60% to 70% of your average weekly paycheck, unless that amount is outside of the state-mandated minimum and maximum payments. The two types of temporary disability benefits are:

  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD): You are unable to perform any of your job duties throughout recovery.
  • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): You are authorized to return to work for certain hours.

Whether you receive TTD or TPD depends on the guidelines of your healthcare provider.

In California, your temporary benefits are paid for a maximum of 104 weeks. These can be distributed across five years if consecutive payments are unnecessary. If the injury you suffered was severe, but not permanently disabling, this maximum increases to 240 weeks. This includes injuries such as chronic lung disease, serious burns, and certain types of hepatitis.

When you are receiving workers’ compensation, and are unable to return to work for a year or more, you may also want to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). If you are worried that your temporary disability benefits will run out while you are still recovering, it may be necessary to receive permanent disability benefits.

Permanent Disability Benefits

If your doctor determines that your injury or condition prevents you from ever fully recovering, you may be eligible for permanent disability benefits. Your disability can be mental or physical. These benefits give you constant financial support. They will cover your lost income and earning capacity when you are never able to return to work.

How long you receive permanent disability benefits depends on your disability rating. This is assigned by your healthcare provider. They also depend on your age, occupation, and how long you have been in the workforce. Disability payments may last for several years for a partial permanent disability. They may last for the rest of your life if you have a total and permanent disability.

Other Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation in California also covers other expenses that resulted from your workplace injury.

Medical Benefits

Any medical costs associated with your workplace injury are covered. This includes:

  • Treatment
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Exams
  • Prescriptions
  • Surgeries
  • Any other necessary medical care

California does not have a time limit for these benefits, unlike temporary disability benefits and certain permanent disability benefits. Instead, the medical costs are covered if they are considered necessary and are authorized by the employer’s insurance provider.

Vocational and Rehabilitation Benefits

Sometimes, a workplace injury makes you unable to perform your job duties. However, if vocational retraining would allow you to regain those skills or gain new ones, workers’ compensation may cover it. Vocational rehabilitation includes job training, counseling, and job placement assistance within the limits of your illness or injury. These benefits may be provided for up to two years. However, you must show that you are trying to find employment and participate in the process.

FAQs About How Long Can One Be on Workers’ Comp in California

How Long Can a Workers’ Comp Claim Stay Open in California?

The statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim is one year for most employees. If you do not file a claim within that time, you lose your employee rights to benefits. The time limit for workers’ compensation benefits is usually payments for a total of 104 weeks, spread over two to five years. If you have a more severe disability that prevents you from returning to work again, you could receive benefits for your entire life.

What Is the Longest You Can Be on Workers’ Comp?

Depending on the type of benefits and how serious your injury is, your workers’ compensation lasts for different periods of time. Temporary disability benefits, the most common form of workers’ compensation, arrive in weekly payments for no longer than 104 weeks. These weeks do not have to be paid consecutively. You can spread them out to last up to five years.

What Is the 90-Day Rule for Workers’ Comp in California?

Your employer’s insurance carrier must respond to your filed workers’ compensation claim within 90 days. If they fail to send you a response, then it is automatically accepted. A provider’s response can be an approval, a denial, or a request for a delay to receive more information from you. A workers comp attorney can help you limit delays by ensuring that your claim has the necessary information.

What Happens After 104 Weeks of Workers’ Comp in California?

104 weeks is the maximum non-consecutive time you can receive temporary disability benefits. After this time, your benefits will end. In some circumstances, severe injuries may result in benefits for up to 240 weeks. If your temporary benefits have ended and you still cannot return to work, it is important to determine if you can receive permanent disability payments or complete limited job tasks.

Upholding Your Employee Rights

The workers’ compensation system is meant to help those victimized by hazardous working conditions. If you need legal assistance getting the benefits you deserve, contact Barry Law Group. We want to provide you with personalized legal care that protects your rights.

Success of Your
Legal Matter.

Barry Law Group is comprised of attorneys and longtime staff members who are committed to the success of your legal matter. The firm understands that for most litigation is uncharted worrisome and often terrifying.