Workers’ compensation in California

People who live and work in San Diego County can be injured on the job no matter what type of work the engage in. Certainly some industries, such as construction, have higher rates of workplace accidents but a workers' compensation injury can happen in a retail establishment, office setting or more. For this reason, it is important that all people understand the basics of California's laws and procedures surrounding workers' compensation benefits.

What is workers' compensation?

Workers' compensation, as noted by the California Division of Workers' Compensation, is a program designed to provide financial compensation and assistance to employees who suffer injuries or illnesses from job-related situations, environments or accidents. In 2012, the state updated some of the parameters of the workers' compensation system in part due to worker dissatisfaction regarding the benefits for people who become permanently disabled.

What types of benefits are available to ill or injured workers?

According to the California Division of Industrial Relations, there are five unique types of benefits that can be paid in response to workers' compensation claims. These benefits include the following:

  • Qualifying surviving family members can apply for death benefits in the wake of a fatal job accident that claimed the life of their loved one.
  • Compensation for medical expenses is available to cover costs associated with treatment for injuries or illnesses.
  • Disability benefits for people who end up with permanent disabilities can be claimed.
  • When disabilities are temporary, special temporary disability benefits are available.
  • For people who are able to resume work but must obtain different employment that requires new or additional training and education, supplemental job displacement benefits can be obtained to help provide for any needed training.

It is important in any situation that will result in a workers' compensation claim that the injured or ill employee follows the proper processes from the beginning. This includes reporting the injury or illness to the employer as soon as possible. If necessary, emergency treatment should also be secured. If the situation is not emergent, an office visit or appropriate first aid should be sought. A form DWC 1 is to be completed by the affected employee and provided to the employer as part of the process for initiating a workers' compensation claim.

Important information for injured or ill employees

Regardless of the reason or the nature of the illness or injury, any person in California who may be in need of workers' compensation benefits should contact an attorney. Getting help with claim filings can make the process simpler for workers.