Introduction to Workers Comp

Introduction

Your right to Workers’ Compensation benefits is mandated by the California Constitution. The original Workers’ Compensation laws were passed in 1911. They have been modified multiple times over the years. There are six fundamental purposes of the current Workers’ Compensation system. The first is to insure that an employee who sustains an industrial injury, and those who depend upon the employee for support, will have means of support while the employee is unable to work. The second is to insure that an employee who sustains an industrial injury will receive medical treatment to bring about a rapid recovery without cost to the employee. The third is to insure that an employee who sustains an industrial injury will be compensated by means of monetary award for any permanent disability he or she may sustain as a result of the injury. The fourth is to insure that an injured employee who is precluded, from returning to his or her usual and customary occupation, and who can reasonably be expected to benefit from a vocational rehabilitation program, is provided with these benefits. The fifth is to insure that dependents of an employee who dies as the result of an industrial injury will be provided with compensation and a burial allowance. The sixth is to insure that an employee who sustains an industrial injury is not discriminated against because of the injury.

The Workers’ Compensation laws provide for four (4) types of benefits: Medical Benefits, Temporary Disability Benefits, Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits, and Permanent Disability Benefits. Our office will file an application at the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) to protect your rights. Each will be discussed in detail below. The monetary benefits are paid on a bi-weekly schedule. You will notice that Vocational Rehabilitation is paid at a lower rate than Temporary Disability, and Permanent Disability is paid at a lower rate than Vocational Rehabilitation. This was intentionally designed this way by the legislature to put increasing pressure and incentive on you to return to work. If you are able to return to work without sustaining further harm to yourself, then we suggest that you do so. Your return to work should not affect the substance of your Workers’ Compensation case. Workers compensation defense attorneys understand how to handle these types of cases.

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