2024 When Does Workers’ Comp Start Paying Lost Wages in California?

Barry Law Group
2024 When Does Workers’ Comp Start Paying Lost Wages in California?

Workers’ compensation is essential for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. It provides coverage for medical expenses, rehab, and a portion of lost wages if the employee is not able to work. In California, many injured employees may wonder, “When does workers’ comp start paying lost wages?” Injured workers need to plan their finances and manage their recovery accordingly. An attorney can help you understand this process.

Workers’ Compensation in California

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program mandated by the state. Employers are required to provide this insurance to their employees. It ensures that injured workers receive immediate medical attention and financial support without the courts getting involved. In exchange, employees generally waive their right to file a claim against their employer for negligence.

However, employees could file a personal injury claim if a third party caused a workplace accident. They can also sue their own employer in certain rare cases, such as if they intentionally contributed to their injuries.

Types of Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation

California workers’ compensation provides several types of benefits, including:

  • Medical coverage. All necessary medical treatments related to the injury or illness are covered.
  • Death Benefits. These benefits are paid to the dependents of a worker who dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness.
  • Temporary Disability Benefits. Payments are provided for lost wages during the time the worker is temporarily unable to work due to their injury.
  • Permanent Disability Benefits. A worker receives payments if they suffer a long-lasting disability that impairs their ability to earn a living, either long-term or permanently.
  • Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits. These provide a voucher for education or opportunities for training if the worker cannot return to their job.

When Do Lost Wage Payments Start?

After a work-related injury, lost wages can take time to start. In California, there is a waiting period before temporary disability benefits can begin. This means that you won’t receive temporary disability payments during the waiting period unless you meet certain conditions. Certain factors can affect the waiting period, including:

  • Hospitalization. If your injury requires you to be hospitalized, the waiting period does not apply. You are entitled to temporary disability benefits beginning the first day you are unable to work.
  • Extended Disability: If your disability lasts for 14 days, the waiting period is waived. You would receive payment for the waiting period as well.

Once you meet the waiting period conditions, your temporary disability benefits will start. Temporary disability benefits are typically calculated as two-thirds of your average weekly earnings. The specific amount can vary, but it generally strives to provide you with the financial support you need while you are unable to work for your normal wage.


After your first payment is received, temporary disability benefits continue every two weeks until one of the following conditions happens:

  • Your doctor clears you to return to work.
  • Your doctor determines that your condition is not expected to improve anymore with medical treatment.
  • You return to work in a modified capacity at the same or higher income.
  • You received temporary disability benefits for the maximum legally allowed duration.

Delays and Denials

Sometimes, there can be delays or denials in receiving temporary disability benefits. Some common reasons for this include:

  • Disputes regarding the injury. The insurance company may dispute whether or not your injury is work-related.
  • Documentation. There might be delays if the insurance company requests more information.
  • Medical disputes: There could be discrepancies in medical reports concerning the extent of your disability, which can cause delays.

Permanent Disability Benefits

If your injury causes permanent injury, you may be eligible for permanent disability benefits. These benefits start after temporary disability benefits end. They are based on the severity of your disability. Your medical condition, the nature of the injury, and how it impacts your ability to work are all considered when determining permanent disability benefits.


Q: Does Workers’ Comp Pay for Lost Wages in California?

A: Workers’ compensation does pay for lost wages in California. Temporary disability benefits typically cover lost wages while you are unable to work. If you suffer a long-term or permanent injury, permanent disability benefits can also help recover lost wages. The long-term injury must affect your ability to earn a living.

Q: How Do I Calculate Benefits for California Workers’ Compensation?

A: Calculating benefits for California workers’ compensation requires a number of considerations. These include determining the injured workers’ weekly earnings, calculating temporary disability benefits (which are typically ⅔ of one’s income), and calculating permanent disability benefits, which are determined by the severity of the injury and other factors.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Receive My Workers’ Compensation Settlement in California?

A: The amount of time it takes to receive your workers’ compensation settlement in California varies. It is generally based on the following guidelines: the amount of time it takes to approve a settlement, the payment timeline (although insurance companies usually have a deadline to pay), and the terms of the settlement.

Q: What Is the Waiting Period for Workers’ Compensation Income Benefits in California?

A: In California, the waiting period for workers’ compensation income benefits is three days. This waiting period applies to temporary disability benefits, which cover wage replacement. The waiting period may be waived if your injury requires you to be hospitalized. If your disability lasts more than 14 days, you can receive compensation for the waiting period after the fact.

Contact Barry Law Group Today

If you are injured on the job, it is essential to report your injury as soon as possible and seek appropriate medical treatment before filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ comp laws can be complex. However, if you are facing difficulties in receiving your benefits or if your claim has been denied, a workers’ compensation attorney can help. They can provide legal advice and help you understand your rights.

At Barry Law Group, we can help you understand your rights under California’s workers’ compensation law. Contact us today to ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve and have the financial stability you need during this challenging time.

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