Temporary disability payments in workers comp cases can be an important source of income for accident victims who are unable to work for a period of time. Knowing your rights along these lines can help you sort through the process if you need to file a claim.
In fact, many people get confused about temporary disability and worker’s compensation. The following information will help you understand the differences.
Temporary Disability Benefits in CA
Let’s begin by defining temporary disability benefits in CA and how they’re different from worker’s compensation.
What is Temporary Disability?
Benefits for temporary disabilities, which are part of workers comp, fall into two categories. These two classifications include:
- Temporary total disability (TTD); and
- Temporary partial disability (TPD), is commonly referred to as “wage-loss TD”.
Both are reimbursements that are designed to make up for missed wages while you are unwell or injured and recuperating. If you are completely unable to work while recovering, TTD payments are made as well.
If you are able to return to work, but only for a short time or with only a few tasks that pay less, you will still receive TPD benefits.
Should your doctor place limitations on the kind of job you may perform or your company only offers part-time work that complies with your restrictions, you may still receive temporary disability. You won’t pay taxes on the compensation.
Workers Compensation Benefits
For workers injured on the job, worker’s compensation provides a safety net for employers. Nearly every firm in California is required to purchase the protection. Workers comp covers missed wages, medical expenses, attendant care, travel expenses to and from the doctor, prescriptions, and vocational rehabilitation.
To receive the money, you need to alert your employer about your accident and ask for time off to receive the compensation. These benefits last as long as you’re in recovery and you need medical care. Like temporary disability, these payments are tax-free.
Filing for Short Term Disability – How It Can Complicate Things
What throws a wrench in the whole process is if an employee files a short-term disability claim, which is separate from workers comp. In this case, you need to consult with a temporary disability benefits lawyer immediately. You should seek their counsel anyway if you’re hurt on the job, as they can help you file your claim successfully.
In some cases, an employer may try to force an employee to use their short-term disability insurance instead of filing for workers comp. Also, you need to watch out if an employer wants you to take your time filing a claim. Doing so can limit your recovery options.
If you have your workers’ comp claim disputed, that’s when you should use short-term disability – only as a stop-gap measure. This might prove helpful if you’re needing money to survive and are waiting for the resolution of your worker’s comp claim.
If you receive workers comp later, you’ll need to reimburse your short-term disability insurance company for the payout.
How STD differs from Temporary Disability
The difference between temporary disability and short-term disability is that short-term disability (STD) is private insurance while temporary disability benefits are part of worker’s compensation – given to you for your lost wages when you cannot work. Therefore, temporary disability is a form of short-term disability, but it is a state-mandated payment.
TTD and TTP payments are only made to you if you’re injured on the job and cannot perform your assigned tasks, or can only do so with limitations.
How Much Are Temporary Disability Payments?
What you receive in temporary disability benefits in California will depend on what you were earning at the time of your accident. You’ll receive a percentage of your average earnings. You may also ask your workers comp adjuster for a projected estimate.
You’ll need to provide medical proof when submitting the claim – showing medical evidence that your injury is preventing you from working.
When Can You Receive Temporary Disability Payments?
In California, you can receive temporary disability every two weeks, beginning with the first payment, which is paid 7 days after you make a claim. Again, you’ll need to provide a medical report that states you cannot work or must cut down on the hours you previously worked.
How Long Do Temporary Disability Payments Last?
You can collect temporary disability up until your doctor says you can return to work. In some cases, he or she may suggest making some modifications. If you don’t feel you’re ready to return to your job, notify your personal injury attorney.
In some instances, a doctor may tell a patient that they don’t expect them to improve – which is referred to as a phase known as “maximum medical improvement” (MMI). This means that you should file for permanent disability right away.
In some cases, you may reach the limit on the temporary disability benefits allowed, according to state law. In California, you are restricted to 104 weeks of payments within a five-year time frame. This window of time begins on the date of your injury.
Are the Services of an Attorney Absolutely Necessary for Your Workers’ Comp Case?
Although you do not necessarily need an attorney to handle your workers’ compensation claim, it is generally a good idea to contact a legal professional.
Your attorney will try to get you as much money as possible. They know what it takes to file a successful claim quickly and efficiently.
Call a Temporary Disability Benefits Lawyer Now
Temporary disability payments are a form of short-term workers’ compensation payments. In most cases, you will receive these payments if you have been injured while on the job and cannot work as a result.
Find out your rights in California. Call Workers Comp Attorney LA at (213) 263-6131 today.