Regardless of what industry you work in, you could find yourself in a situation where you get hurt on the job or develop a repetitive motion injury or illness because of the demands of your occupation. When that happens, you have the right to turn to workers’ compensation for help covering the costs.
The benefits offered through California’s workers’ compensation program help reduce the financial impact of an injury on an employee and their dependents. You could find yourself unable to earn an income for days or even weeks. Yet, you may be left wondering: how long does a workers’ compensation claim in California usually take?
There’s no one-size-fits-all claims timeline
Predicting the time frame it will take to approve a claim is difficult. In some cases where the situation is straightforward, like a machinery accident or chemical spill with clear documentation in the workplace, your claim could be approved almost immediately.
Other times, it could take weeks for an approval to come or you may find yourself in a situation where you have to appeal a denial. Those with acquired illnesses or cumulative trauma, like carpal tunnel, may have to present more evidence in order to get the benefits they need. It’s also true that larger claims with more serious injuries may undergo more careful review.
You can presumptively receive medical care immediately if necessary
You can start receiving medical care immediately while the claim is still underway. Provide the medical facility with information about the workers’ compensation claim and then update them once you have an approval and all the information that goes along with it.
You should have a medical claim approval within one day, and you can usually seek emergency treatment without the full claim information.
How long does it take to receive disability benefits through workers’ compensation?
The exact date when you will start receiving benefits will depend on factors ranging from how long it takes you to file the claim to the length of time necessary for your employer and the insurance company involved to review everything and finish their paperwork.
The CA worker’s compensation system allows the carrier 90 days to decide whether or not they are going to accept the claim. During that 90 day period or until the carrier denies the claim, the carrier is obligated to authorize medical treatment for up to $10,000.00.