Workers’ compensation can provide much-needed financial assistance during an otherwise difficult time. The insurance program provides payment for lost wages and medical bills associated with a work-related injury or illness.
In California, all employers are required to either purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy or become self-insured. To be eligible to receive benefits, you must have been acting on behalf of your employer when the illness or injury occurred. Common workplace injuries include:
- Back injuries due to lifting heavy objects
- Head injuries due to a construction fall or motor vehicle accident
- Amputations due to a machine accident
- Illness due to chemical exposure
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and other injuries due to repetitive tasks
To initiate a California workers’ compensation claim, you must promptly notify your employer that you have been injured and complete a claim form. Your employer is then required to forward the claim form, along with the employer’s report of your occupational injury or illness, to the claims administrator within one working day of receiving your claim.
Some workers’ compensation benefits begin while your claim is being investigated. Within one day of receiving your claim, your employer must authorize up to $10,000 in medical treatment and provide light duty work, if appropriate. Payments for lost wages, such as temporary or permanent disability benefits, do not begin until after your claim has been approved.
Because filing the necessary paperwork, dealing with claim administrators and attending hearings can be confusing and time-consuming, many injured workers seek the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. The San Francisco Bay area law firm of Law Offices of John E. Hill, a Professional Corporation can guide you through the system and help you obtain the full benefits to which you are entitled.