A work injury can require extensive medical treatment, and may even result in permanent debilitation. Your workers’ comp benefits can help you make ends meet while you’re unable to work. But how long does workers’ comp last in California?

What Type of Workers’ Comp Benefits Are Receiving?

Each type of workers’ comp benefits pays for different kinds of disabilities, and continue for different lengths of time depending on the severity of your injury. California workers’ comp laws provide injured workers with funds they desperately need, but they are also designed to prevent employees from abusing the system. Below, we discuss the different types of benefits you can receive, and how long each one may last.

Total Temporary Disability Benefits

Total temporary disability, or TTD, pays benefits to you if you are hospitalized or miss more than three days of work. They amount to two-thirds of your gross wages and are subject to minimum and maximum weekly rates. The first TTD payment must be paid within 14 days of when a doctor declares you unable to work. TTD benefits may stop when:

  • A doctor determines that you are unable to return to work;
  • You actually return to work;
  • Your medical condition becomes stable and a doctor determines you will have no more improvement;
  • You have received benefits for the maximum allowable amount of time: 104 weeks.

Permanent Disability Benefits

If a doctor determines that your injury is “permanent and stationary,” your temporary disability benefits will end. If you are still unable to work, you may begin receiving permanent disability benefits. There should not be longer than 14 days between when your temporary benefits end and your permanent benefits begin.

If you have a permanent partial disability, the length of time that your benefits will last depends on your percentage of disability, or PD rating. You may qualify for ongoing payments called a “life pension.”

In the future, you may be able to return to work with or without modification of your job, at which time you may be eligible for supplemental job displacement benefits in the form of training or education.

Medical Benefits

If you were injured while at work, your workers’ compensation benefits will pay for your medical expenses until you are completely healed or you make a settlement with the company. Medical benefits should pay for all work-related injury expenses. However, once a doctor says you are completely healed, the workers’ comp medical benefits will stop.

Will Benefits Stop If I Return to Work?

If you return to work, but continue to have medical expenses related to your work injury, workers’ comp should continue to pay your bills. Wage loss benefits, on the other hand, are likely to stop if you return to work either at the employer where you were injured or elsewhere.

If you return to part time work or are unable to do the same work and are paid less, then you may continue to receive some amount of wage loss benefits in the form of temporary partial disability (TPD). TPD will pay you two-thirds of the wages that you are losing as a result of fewer hours worked or lower earned wages.

How Long Does Workers’ Comp Last in California? Ask a Workers’ Comp Attorney

If you have questions about your workers’ comp case, speak to a Pasadena CA workers’ comp lawyer at Dewberry Law today.