Workers’ compensation insurance is an important safeguard for almost everyone who earns wages. Every job comes with a degree of risk, and people who get hurt at work could lose income while also incurring medical expenses as a result of occupational harm.
Someone could end up hurt in a fire or struck by moving machinery and find that they are unable to work for weeks. The workers’ compensation program in California can replace someone’s lost wages while they are unable to work because of an injury and can also cover their treatment costs.
Most workers only need a temporary leave of absence to secure medical treatment or give their bodies an opportunity to recover from a traumatic injury. However, in a minority of workplace injury cases, a worker will struggle with permanent consequences that will force them to change their profession or stop working altogether. How does workers’ compensation help those who can no longer do the same job after sustaining an injury at work?
Permanent disability benefits can increase someone’s income
Many people have an unnecessarily restrictive idea of what qualifies for disability pay when a worker gets hurt on the job or is diagnosed with a medical condition related to their employment. A worker does not need to be completely unable to work a job to qualify for permanent disability benefits.
Instead, they can qualify for benefits during a short-term convalescent leave and also for permanent benefits even if they can work a different job. If the lasting medical impact of someone’s job-acquired medical condition will force them into a lower-paid profession, then workers’ compensation can potentially offer them either lump-sum benefits in some cases or weekly compensation to augment their reduced take-home pay.
Medical evaluation is key to long-term or permanent disability claims. Having the physician overseeing someone’s work injury treatment review their condition will be important if someone expects to request benefits related to their reduced earning potential. Doctors can evaluate someone and determine the lasting functional limitations created by an injury. The report that they issue can then influence what benefits the worker potentially qualifies to receive.
Understanding the different types of disability pay that are available through California’s workers’ compensation system can potentially help someone who is worried about paying their bills after an injury on the job. Working with an experienced attorney can help an injured worker to pursue the maximum amount of benefits they’re owed and to receive them in a timely fashion.