If you are considering filing for workers’ comp benefits after a workplace injury, it is vital that you know about temporary and permanent disability benefits. These benefits are:
- Designed to compensate workers who sustain injuries while they are on the job
- Available to support workers who cannot work for any period (or ever again)
- Available in different amounts and for different lengths of time, depending on what type of injury you suffered
Here, you can learn about the benefits you can receive through workers’ compensation and what they could mean for your financial well-being.
There Are Four Kinds of Disability Benefits in Workers’ Comp Cases
An injured worker could seek one of these disability benefits:
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) states that you can receive TPD if you can do some amount of work while you recover.
For example, maybe your employer can offer light duty, or maybe they will let you work fewer hours until you recover. Such work may not pay as much as your regular position, so you can receive TPD to help you pay the bills.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
This type of benefit is available if you cannot work at all during your convalescence, either because your injury is too serious or because your employer cannot/will not offer you part-time work. You can receive up to two-thirds of your regular weekly salary.
When you seek TTD, it is with the understanding that you will fully recover and return to work someday. If you later find out you will never fully recover, you can seek permanent disability benefits instead.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
Unfortunately, some workplace injuries never completely heal. This could permanently affect how much you can work and how much money you can earn.
Per the DIR’s guidebook, a worker could receive permanent partial disability benefits if they can do some amount of work despite suffering:
- An amputated digit or limb
- A loss of sight or hearing
- A limited range of motion
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
Finally, if you can no longer do any kind of work at all—for example, if you sustained a traumatic brain injury or are completely paralyzed—you could receive PTD benefits for the rest of your life. This money could make it easier for you to pay for necessities like groceries, rent, and so on.
Calculating Your Disability Benefits
Even within the categories listed above, people applying for workers’ compensation in California could end up receiving very different amounts of money. This is because:
- The amount you receive in temporary disability and permanent disability benefits is a percentage of your usual wage; the more you made, the more you can receive.
- Temporary disability benefits in workers’ compensation (as well as permanent partial disability benefits) do not last forever. The longer you are out of work, the longer you may continue to receive payments.
- A doctor will need to determine how serious your injuries are and how they have affected (or will affect) your life.
- You may qualify for different amounts of other workers’ comp benefits, such as medical expenses.
If you ask for too much in disability benefits, the insurer could reject your claim. If you ask for too little, you could deprive yourself of the benefits you need.
A workers compensation lawyer Los Angeles can make sure you ask for an appropriate amount. They can also assist with other aspects of the claims process.
Other Workers’ Comp Benefits Are Available
In addition to disability benefits, workers’ compensation allows claimants to seek free medical care. This would cover any and all treatments you need to recover completely (or as completely as you can). Covered healthcare expenses may comprise:
- Assistive devices (such as prosthetic limbs, hearing aids, etc.)
- Physical therapy
- Follow-up care
There is also something called “supplemental job displacement benefits.” This would help you pay for any additional education or job training you might need to get a new job (if your disability prevents you from returning to your previous position).
Finally, if you are financially dependent on someone who passed away from a workplace injury, workers’ compensation may pay you death benefits. The amount you receive depends on when the injury occurred and how many dependents there are, among other factors.
Who Can Claim Disability Benefits?
A worker can ask for disability benefits if they sustained a disabling injury while on the job. This applies to any worker whose employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, regardless of whether the worker:
- Is a temporary employee
- Only works part-time
- Is undocumented
Getting Legal Help as You Seek Disability Benefits
Whether you need temporary or permanent disability benefits, a law firm with experience in such cases could guide you through the claims process. This may involve:
- Collecting evidence to prove you suffered a disabling job-related injury
- Speaking and meeting with the insurance company on your behalf
- Requesting a hearing if you do not get the outcome you wanted from your claim
- Attending the hearing and explaining why you qualify for the benefits that the insurance company denied
A workplace injury lawyer knows about temporary and permanent disability benefits in workers’ compensation cases. They can explain which benefits to ask for and then fight hard for those benefits. With a lawyer managing your case, you could:
- Focus on getting medical care and recovering from your injuries as much as you can
- Spend time with loved ones as you try to find a new normal
- Spare yourself the ordeal of attending in-person meetings and having to speak directly to the involved parties
Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help You
For more information on what you should know about temporary and permanent benefits in workers’ compensation, call KJT Law Group at (818) 507-8525. We would be happy to provide you with a free case review. Our team doesn’t charge attorney’s fees unless we secure compensation for your losses.