What are Temporary Disability Benefits Under Workers Compensation in California?

The temporary disability (TD) benefits in California under workers’ compensation act as a substitute for lost wages if an individual is unable to work due to a work-related injury. Temporary disability pays two-thirds of the gross (pre-tax) wages lost while recovering from a job injury, with a maximum weekly amount set by law. These payments commence when a doctor states that the individual cannot perform their usual work for more than three days or has been hospitalized overnight.

It is important to report all forms of income received from work, including wages, food, lodging, tips, commissions, overtime, and bonuses, to the claims administrator. Earnings from other jobs at the time of the injury should also be reported. TD payments must be made every two weeks. Generally, TD stops when the individual returns to work, when the doctor releases them for work, or when the injury has improved as much as possible.

The temporary disability benefits are determined by work restrictions given by the doctor, given for a limited amount of time, calculated based on weekly earnings, and paid on a set schedule. These benefits are only paid if the insurance company agrees that the injury is work-related.

Understanding Types of Temporary Disability Benefits

In California’s workers’ compensation system, there are two primary types of temporary disability benefits:

  1. Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits: TTD benefits are provided to individuals who are temporarily unable to work due to a work-related injury or illness. These benefits compensate for lost wages while the individual is recovering and unable to perform any type of work.
  2. Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits: TPD benefits are available to individuals who can return to work in a limited capacity or perform light-duty work while they are recovering from a work-related injury. TPD benefits provide compensation for the wage loss resulting from the difference between the individual’s pre-injury earnings and their reduced earning capacity during the recovery period.

These two types of temporary disability benefits aim to provide financial support to workers who are unable to work or experiencing reduced earning capacity due to work-related injuries or illnesses. The specific type of benefits an individual is eligible for depends on their ability to work and earn wages during the recovery period.

Temporary Disability Benefits
Temporary Disability Benefits

How Can I Get Temporary Disability Benefits Under Workers Compensation in California?

If you are seeking temporary disability benefits under workers’ compensation in California, there are certain steps you need to follow. First and foremost, it is crucial to report your injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible. This should be done within 30 days of the incident occurring or when you became aware of the condition. Failure to report within this timeframe may result in a denial of your claim.

Once you have reported your injury, your employer is responsible for providing you with a claim form (DWC-1) and an informational brochure about workers’ compensation benefits. It is important to fill out the claim form accurately and completely, providing all necessary details about your injury and how it occurred. Make sure to keep a copy of the completed form for your records.

After submitting the claim form, your employer’s insurance company will review your case and determine your eligibility for temporary disability benefits. If approved, you will begin receiving benefits after a three-day waiting period. These benefits typically amount to two-thirds of your average weekly wages, up to a certain limit set by the state.

To continue receiving temporary disability benefits, you must follow all medical treatment instructions and attend any required medical appointments. Failure to do so may result in a suspension or termination of your benefits. Additionally, it is crucial to keep your employer and the insurance company updated on any changes in your condition or work status.

How Can an Attorney Assist in Getting Temporary Disability Benefits in California?

When it comes to navigating the complex process of obtaining temporary disability benefits in California, having an experienced attorney by your side can be invaluable. An attorney who specializes in disability law understands the intricate details of the system and can guide you through the entire process.

If you have a severe or long-term disability, an attorney can increase your chances of receiving a fair benefit amount and the necessary duration of benefits. They will ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed accurately and submitted on time, increasing your chances of a successful claim. Additionally, an attorney can provide expert advice on gathering the required medical evidence to support your case and can advocate on your behalf during any necessary hearings or appeals.

With their knowledge and expertise, an attorney can significantly increase your chances of receiving the temporary disability benefits you are entitled to. In case, your claim is denied, you should consult an attorney about appealing. Any disagreements regarding the amount or duration of your benefits warrant an attorney’s attention. An attorney will carefully examine the reasons and determine if there’s a basis for an appeal. 

Speak with our seasoned Los Angeles workers compensation attorney, if you’re experiencing any delays in receiving your benefits or are unsure about filing your claim.