If you’re a California worker that’s been injured on the job you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation payment.
By law, you are entitled to two-thirds of your pretax gross wages up the maximum allowable. Back in 2011, the maximum rate that you could receive was $986.69.
So, for example, let’s say your regular pay rate per week is $1800. You could expect to receive $1200 per week as a temporary disability payment.
There are various public entities and companies that make up the salary difference, so the worker is still receiving his or her regular income after sustaining the injury – often known as Disability Leave with Pay. This program is not offered by all companies.
If you want to determine how much you’ll be receiving on a weekly basis, you’ll want to get ahold of your annual wages. For instance, if you make $26,000 per year, that’ll equate to $500 per week.
If you’re looking to calculate your hourly wage, and you only know your annual salary, divide your annual wage by the number of regular work hours per year, say 2,080 hours (52 multiplied by 40).
To obtain the weekly wage, simply divide the annual salary by 52.
You can use your weekly wage to determine the total amount of workers’ compensation payment you’ll receive. You’ll want to take two-thirds of your weekly salary to obtain the number. For example, if an employee is making $1,000 per year, take 1,000 and multiply it by 2/3 – which equates to $666.66 per week.
Subtract the workers’ compensation weekly payment from your weekly wage. So technically, it would be $1,000 minus $666.66, which equates to $333.34. If you work for an employer who is self-insured and offers the Disability with Leave Pay program, the employee that is earning $1,000 per week will receive $666.66 from workers’ compensation payment and $333.34 from the Disability with Leave Pay program for gross wages while the employee remains injured.
You can figure out your workers’ compensation payment easily if your payroll occurs every two weeks. In the same scenario as we discussed above, the employee would receive gross wages of $2,000 every two weeks.
If we break this down, $1,333.32 comes from the workers’ compensation portion of the payroll and the balance of $666.68 would be coming from the Disability with Leave Pay program.
If you want to calculate the benefits you’ll be receiving from an entity that is not enrolled in the Disability with Leave Pay program, the employee that is making $1,000 per week would receive $666.66 per week for temporary disability payment, without any taxes withheld.
The first set of payments that you are entitled to receive is payment for your medical care. Under California law, the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), a division of the Department of Industrial Relations, provides that a worker that is injured on the job will receive all medical treatment necessary to cure or relive the effects of the injury, without any deductible or out-of-pocket cost to the individual.
Note that this includes hospital bills, doctor’s bills, prescription medications, medical equipment, chiropractic sessions, and physical therapy/rehabilitation. Until the employer’s insurance accepts or denies the workers’ comp claim, it is liable for paying up to $10,000 of your medical costs, even if in the end the claim is rejected.
Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits
If your employer does not offer alternative or modified work, and you do not return to work within 60 days of leaving for temporary disability, you are eligible for the supplemental job displacement benefit – also known as vocational rehabilitation retraining. You can receive a voucher that’s worth up to $6,000 and can be spent on tuition, school fees, and books.
If you are a surviving dependent (spouse, child, parent) of an employee that died due to a work-related injury, you are entitled to a death benefit. The primary death benefit is given out in a lump, ranging anywhere from $250,000 to $320,000. Minor children are entitled to a weekly death benefit until they turn the age of 18 – the money is divided amongst them. Note that the weekly death benefit amount is the same amount as temporary disability weekly payment.