Yes, you have to report workers’ compensation settlement money to the Employment Development Department (EDD) for the State of California. According to the EDD, you must report any wages, including workers’ compensation settlements and other benefits, while you are receiving disability benefits. Your settlement money for electrocution injuries or other income may affect the other benefits you receive. Your workers’ comp lawyer can explain how it could alter your specific situation.
How Can Workers’ Compensation Settlement Affect My EDD Benefits?
The EDD considers workers’ compensation to be a type of wage, and it requires anyone receiving disability benefits to report wages to the department. If you receive a worker’s compensation settlement, it may reduce your benefits. The EDD uses a formula to determine how any workers’ comp income will affect your benefits.
The department’s website shows how to report your wages online or by mail. Failing to report your workers’ comp settlement money is considered withholding facts (a type of fraud), according to the EDD. People who commit fraud face penalties such as:
- Jail or prison time
- Repayment of benefits already collected plus fines and penalties
- Loss of future income tax refunds
- Loss of eligibility to collect benefits in the future
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation provides financial compensation and other benefits to employees who are hurt on the job or become sick or injured because of their job, including electrocution injuries. Workers’ comp insurance provides coverage for any employee injured on the job without regard to who was responsible for their injuries. In return, employees agree not to sue their employer for their work-related injuries.
If you were electrocuted at work, workers’ comp should cover expenses for your emergency treatment and follow-up care, including diagnostic imaging, surgeries, prescription medication, occupational, speech, and physical therapies, and medical equipment. California’s Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) provides information about the other benefits provided by workers’ compensation:
- Temporary disability payments: If you cannot return to work temporarily while you recover, workers’ compensation will provide you with weekly payments (generally 2/3 of your current weekly pay) to cover your loss of income.
- Permanent disability payments: If your injuries have left you permanently disabled, workers’ compensation will provide you with weekly payments based on the percentage of your disability, with set minimum and maximum values.
- Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit: This benefit pays for some educational retraining or skill enhancement if you are partially or permanently disabled and your employer didn’t offer you new work. You may also qualify for a one-time payment of $5,000 through the Return-to-Work Supplement Program.
- Mileage: You can be reimbursed for mileage, bridge tolls, and parking expenses if you must travel to receive medical care for your injuries or illness.
- Death benefits: The spouse, children, and other dependents of an employee who died because of a work-related illness or injury can receive up to $10,000 for funeral and burial costs as well as weekly payments until the youngest dependent’s 18th birthday. The value of the weekly payment depends on the deceased employee’s income but cannot be less than $224 per week.
What is a Workers’ Compensation Settlement?
A workers’ compensation settlement is a resolution to your case. According to the California DIR, you can settle by coming to an agreement with the claims administrator or when a judge issues an order. Either way, there are two types of workers’ compensation settlements:
- Stipulations with request for reward: You will receive temporary or permanent disability payments, typically every week. The claims administrator will pay for your medical care if you need it.
- Compromise and release: You will receive a one-time lump sum payment that typically includes the cost of your future medical care, making you responsible for any future medical expenses.
Do I Have to Accept a Workers’ Compensation Offer?
No, you don’t have to accept a workers’ compensation offer from the claims administrator if you don’t think it adequately covers your losses. You can take your case before a worker’s compensation judge and negotiate a fair settlement. If you choose to take this step, you may wish to hire a workers compensation lawyer Los Angeles who handles workers’ comp cases and understands their complexity.
Other Compensation May Be Available After Your Job-Related Injury
Not all job-related injuries result in a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation insurance covers injuries caused by either the worker or the employer. In some cases, a supporting a third-party claim bears responsibility for on-the-job injuries. Potentially liable parties could include:
- Another contractor: Construction sites often have multiple contractors, each with their own teams and equipment, working at the same time. If you were hurt at a construction site, another contractor may have caused your injuries.
- Equipment manufacturer: If you were injured because of defective or malfunctioning equipment, the manufacturer may be responsible for your injuries.
- Property owner: Property owners must keep their property safe or warn you of known hazards. You may have a premises liability case if your injuries resulted from a hazardous condition on the property.
- Utility company: The company responsible for maintaining the power lines could be at fault and responsible for your electrocution injuries.
When someone other than you or your employer caused your injuries, they may be financially responsible for your medical care, loss of income, and pain and suffering. In this case, you can seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawyer Los Angeles from our firm can help.
Call Today for Questions or Help With Your Workers’ Comp Case
Whether you need help with a workers’ compensation case or filing a lawsuit against a third-party claim the lawyers at KJT Law Group can help. We can advocate for your rights as an employee and answer any questions you have along the way. Contact our office online or call (818) 507-8525 today to get started.