Workers’ compensation benefits are a vital lifeline for injured workers in California. Injured workers should be familiar with the types of benefits they can be entitled to and the overall process of applying for workers’ compensation benefits.

Types of workers’ compensation benefits available 

  • Medical costs – Workers’ compensation benefits include coverage for medical care including hospital care, physician care, medicine, medical equipment and lab and other tests.
  • Wage loss – Workers’ compensation benefits include coverage for lost wages for injured workers who have suffered temporary disability because of their workplace injury. Benefits may also be available for permanent disability for injured workers who experience permanent disability because of their workplace injury.
  • Retraining – Workers’ compensation benefits include coverage for vocational rehabilitation when workers are unable to return to their previous employment because of a workplace injury they have suffered.

In addition, death benefits may be available when appropriate following a fatal workplace accident.

How long do I have to file for workers’ compensation benefits?

Injured workers have 30 days to provide written notice of their injury to their employer. You also have 1 year to make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits if you have been injured on the job in California.

What do I do if my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

When a workers’ compensation claim has been denied, and the injured worker disagrees with the decision, they can have their claim heard by a judge. There is a particular claim that you must fill out to challenge the denial of your workers’ compensation claim.

What does my employer need to do?

Employers have important responsibilities to injured workers. Once the employer has received written notice of the workplace injury, they have one day to provide you with a workers’ compensation claim form. Employers are required in California to provide workers’ compensation protections to all of their employees with few exceptions.