What is temporary disability in workers' compensation?

One of the benefits that workers who are injured in California might receive through workers' compensation is a cash payment known as disability. These are temporary payments that help to cover a portion of lost wages due to the injury. The payments are in addition to medical coverage and other benefits.

Not all workers who are hurt at work will get these temporary disability payments. You have to qualify for them. There are several things you need to know about this benefit.

Who qualifies for temporary disability benefits?

In order to qualify for the payments under the workers' compensation system, your employer can't offer you to do alternate work that pays the same as your regular job. If this is offered, you aren't going to qualify as long as you are able to do the alternative duties.

On top of that, you either have to be hospitalized overnight or your doctor must state that you can't return to work for more than three days due to the injuries. The main point is that you are unable to earn wages while you heal from the work-related medical issue.

What are the two types and how much are the payments?

There are two types of disability payments made under this system. People who are able to do some of their normal duties, but not all of them, may receive temporary partial disability. People who can't do any work at all may receive temporary total disability.

Temporary disability payments are tax free. They are paid at two-thirds of your normal salary; however, there are minimum and maximum amounts in place. If you are receiving temporary partial disability payments, the amount of the payments will take the income you can earn into account.

Payments for temporary disability are made every two weeks. The first payment is due within 14 days after your doctor notes that you can't work due to the work-related health issue and your employer is informed of the injury.

The payments can continue as long as you qualify for the benefits, but the number of weeks you can be paid for has limits. For injuries that occurred in 2008 or since, you can receive up to 104 weeks of payments within the five years beginning on the date of the injury. There are some conditions, such as pulmonary fibrosis, certain eye injuries and amputations, that have a limit of benefits during the five years starting on the date of the injury.

Pay close attention to the letters you receive from the claims administrator. You might need to take certain actions if you don't agree with the decisions.

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