The workers’ compensation system can provide medical treatment as well as financial compensation, depending on the claim. If your workplace injury or illness causes lost wages, workers’ compensation benefits may help to cover those lost wages.
Below is a high-level summary of workers’ comp benefits. How much you could be paid and for how long is a complicated question to answer. For more information about your specific situation, contact your claims adjuster.
Overview of benefits
If you miss work for more than three calendar days, you may be eligible to receive a portion of your lost wages through a benefit called Temporary Disability.
Temporary Disability benefits typically end when you return to work or when your primary treating physician releases you for work or has determined that your injury will no longer improve. They can also end when your benefits are exhausted. In the case where an injury is no longer improving, you may be eligible for Permanent Disability benefits.
If your injury permanently impacts your ability to work, you may be eligible for Permanent Disability benefits. Your Primary Treating Physician or a doctor called a qualified medical evaluator (QME) will examine you to make this determination. If you are represented by an attorney, a doctor called an agreed medical evaluator (AME) may examine you to make this determination as well.
Payment typically begins within 14 days after Temporary Disability ends. An assessment of the total benefit owed to you will be made, and payment will continue until the benefit is paid in full. If an assessment still needs time to be made, payment will continue until a reasonable estimate of the benefit due is paid.
Payment of benefits
Both Temporary Disability and Permanent Disability benefits are equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wages at the time of injury. The rate is subject to minimum and maximum amounts that depend on the date and type of injury.
You’ll receive benefit payments every two weeks while you qualify for these benefits. We issue checks unless you choose payment by debit card. We recommend the debit card option for its convenience and security.
Note: If you opt for the debit card, we recommend you sign up and activate your card as soon as your claim is accepted, even if it is still unclear whether you will receive benefit payments. This will ensure you receive your benefit payments faster when you become eligible to receive these benefits. Read about our debit card program or speak to your claims adjuster to learn more.
For more detailed information on benefit amounts, visit the California Department of Industrial Relations Workers’ Compensation Benefits.
When the unthinkable happens, we want to make sure that loved ones are taken care of. In the event of a work-related death, surviving dependents may receive monetary benefits to compensate for the loss of income.
Supplemental job displacement benefits
If your injury caused Permanent Disability and resulted in your inability to return to your previous job, you may be eligible for Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits. The purpose of this benefit is to assist you in acquiring new skills to help you find a job. This benefit provides you with a non-transferable voucher for education-related costs.
Find more information at Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits.