Applying for Disability After a Work Injury in California
You put a solid effort into earning an income for yourself and your family. What do you do when you suffer an injury at work, leaving you unable to provide for your family? Perhaps you’re aware of your rights in California to worker’s compensation for medical care, but what about the duration of time you won’t receive wages while you recover? Or worse – what happens if your injuries are severe enough to keep you from ever returning to work?
In the event you face an unfortunate circumstance such as a workplace accident, you have rights to short-term and permanent disability. Even if it’s determined you are partially at fault for the accident, California’s employment laws utilize a no-fault system, allowing you to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Temporary Disability Benefits
If you are temporarily out of work due to an injury on the job and unable to earn a living, you have the right to collect temporary disability benefits. California worker’s compensation ensures that you don’t have to lose all you’ve worked hard for simply because of an injury acquired from a workplace accident.
In California, the state law allows for short-term disability insurance. As an employee, you’ve actually funded this short-term disability program through payroll deductions.
Filing for Short-Term Disability Benefits in California
Filing a work injury claim in California involves the Employment Development Department (EDD), where you submit your claim within seven weeks of the accident, when you first became unable to work. Part of the claim also includes a medical certificate of disability by medical or religious practitioners who hold proper authorization.
Once approved, the coverage you should receive amounts to about 60%-70% of your highest paid quarter of the calendar year, tax-free. Because it’s not subject to taxes, the disability benefits you receive will usually amount to the same as your previous paychecks.
Permanent Disability in California
Long-term and permanent disability are not provided by the state of California; therefore, you can apply for Social Security Disability in the event your employer doesn’t have a long-term disability policy, or you can file a worker’s compensation claim.
While most job injuries don’t result in permanent disability, there are instances where an on-the-job injury yields ongoing medical problems. Because the law sets permanent disability benefits, there are some parameters that will determine your benefit amount:
- When your injury occurred
- Your impairment level, as determined by a qualified medical evaluator or primary physician
- Your impairment level will be defined through a percentage, and then entered into a formula that takes into account your age and occupation
Why Consult an Attorney for Your Disability Claim?
While applying for disability seems like a very straightforward process, there are many barriers to the successful award of your benefits. Employers may be uncooperative with your scheduled time off or fail to honor your leave rights. Their insurance policy may even deny your claim.
You may also disagree with several parts of the claim process. When you file for disability, you may have an injury that doesn’t improve, leading your condition to be classified as “permanent and stationary.” Your treating physician will file a report on your work restrictions and specific problems you face, and estimate how much responsibility your job has for your injury. If you disagree with the opinions of that doctor, you may want to challenge that report.
Contact a Texas Workers’ Compensation Attorney to Help You Get the Benefits You Deserve
Since 1991, Donald S. Fair has been fighting for those injured on the job to get the benefits to which they’re entitled. If you feel that your employer or insurance company is infringing up your rights to worker’s compensation and disability, call Texas accident attorney Donald S. Fair at (909) 344-3003 or fill out this contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.