Hablamos Español

Close this search box.

How Long Does Workers’ Compensation Last?

In California, temporary workers’ compensation benefits are generally available to injured workers for up to 104 weeks (two years) from the date of their injury. For more severe injuries, they may be eligible to receive benefits for up to 240 weeks (just over four-and-a-half years).

The duration of these benefits varies depending on the nature of the injury, treatment progress, and other factors. In this blog, our workers’ compensation lawyers will explore the different types of workers’ compensation benefits, the factors that affect how long you receive benefits, and how our attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. 

The Types of Benefits You Get (and for How Long) Depend on Your Injury 

Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. It protects employees and employers by providing medical treatment, disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and more. In California, workers’ compensation accounts for temporary and permanent disabilities. 

As noted, how long you can receive benefits primarily depends on the extent of your condition and your body’s response to treatment. Generally, if you can eventually return to work, you can receive temporary disability benefits. These payments account for your medical bills and some of your lost income during your recovery. 

Permanent disability benefits are intended for those who suffer serious job-related injuries that will permanently affect their working ability and earning power. These benefits are for those who suffered injuries that will permanently affect their working ability. 

You Can Generally Get Temporary Disability Benefits for Two Years 

Temporary disability (TD) benefits replace a portion of the wages lost due to a work-related injury or illness. These benefits are available to workers who are temporarily unable to perform their job duties.

There are two types of temporary disability benefits: temporary total disability (TTD) and temporary partial disability. If you can work some hours during your recovery, you may be eligible for temporary partial disability benefits. If you can’t work at all, you could get temporary total disability benefits. 

Temporary disability payments, whether total or partial, are calculated based on two-thirds of your gross weekly wage, subject to a maximum weekly benefit set by the state. Per the California Division of Workers’ Compensation, these benefits typically last for:

  • No more than 104 weeks within a two-year period from the first payment for injuries after April 19, 2004
  • No more than 104 weeks within a five-year period from the date of the injury for injuries after January 1, 2008
  • Up to 240 weeks within a five-year period for long-term injuries, like severe burns or chronic lung disease

The duration and amount of these benefits may change if your condition improves, you reach maximum medical improvement, or you transition to permanent disability status.

You Could Get Permanent Disability Benefits for Life 

Permanent disability (PD) benefits are available to workers who have sustained a permanent impairment or disability due to a work-related injury or illness. These benefits provide compensation for the lasting effects of the injury.

You will receive a disability rating from the qualified medical evaluator (QME). This rating, along with the date of your injury and your wages, will determine your PD benefits. If you qualify, benefits will continue “until a reasonable estimate of your disability amount has been paid.” If you suffered a life-altering condition, you could receive payments for the rest of your life. 

How Do I Qualify for Permanent Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Qualifying for permanent workers’ compensation benefits in California is contingent upon meeting specific criteria. 

To determine eligibility, consider the following questions:

  • Do you have a work-related injury or illness?
  • Have you reached maximal medical improvement but still have lasting injuries that reduce your earning capacity?
  • Can you demonstrate the impact of the injury on work capabilities?
  • Can you present medical records, diagnostic tests, and professional opinions that support this?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be eligible for permanent workers’ compensation benefits. Seeking legal guidance from a workers’ compensation attorney can help protect your rights and provide the support you need.

What Factors Affect How Long Workers’ Compensation Lasts?

Several factors can influence how long you receive workers’ compensation benefits, including: 

How Long It Takes to Reach Maximum Medical Improvement

The most crucial factor affecting how long workers’ compensation lasts is medical improvement. This is not the same as recovering from your injury. Instead, MMI is how much your body can reasonably recover from a serious condition. So, you may reach MMI, even if you must spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair. That’s because, with all the medical interventions, your body has healed to the best of its ability. 

What Type of Injury You Suffered

Your injury is another important factor that significantly impacts how long you receive workers’ compensation benefits. The more severe the injury, the longer the recovery process, and the longer you may need to continue receiving benefits.

For example, a severe back injury that requires multiple surgeries and ongoing physical therapy may require an extended period of TTD benefits until you recover. Yet, a back injury that leaves you totally paralyzed could result in permanent benefits for life. 

When You Can Return to Work

The ability to return to work, either in your previous position or a modified role, can impact the duration of workers’ compensation benefits. If you can resume employment, even in a limited capacity, the need for benefits may be reduced or cease altogether.

The Details of Your Settlement

Some details of your settlement may clearly outline how long you receive benefits. You could benefit from partnering with a lawyer in this situation; they can review the details of your condition and see if the settlement agreement meets your needs. 

How Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help

Hiring our workers’ compensation lawyers at KJT Law Group can help you get the benefits you deserve. We offer these services and more throughout our working relationship: 

  1. A free case evaluation: Our attorneys assess the strength of your case, identifying potential strategies and explaining your options. 
  2. Documentation: We’ll handle all the paperwork involved, ensuring the accurate and timely submission of all necessary documents.
  3. Negotiation: We advocate on your behalf, communicating with insurance companies and employers to secure the best possible settlement.
  4. Help with appeals: If your claim is denied or disputed, we navigate the appeals process, representing your interests and fighting for your rights.

Do you need help getting what’s rightfully yours? Your peace of mind is worth fighting for, and our attorneys at KJT Law Group are here to help you get justice. Contact us today for a free case evaluation at (818) 507-8525.

We Will Fight For You

Contact our firm to get started.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.