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What is Workers’ Compensation?

If you get hurt on the job, your employer is required by law to pay for workers’ compensation benefits.
You could get hurt by:

  • One event at work. Examples: hurting your back in a fall, getting burned by a chemical that splashes on your skin, getting hurt in a car accident while making deliveries, or:
  • Repeated exposures at work. Examples: hurting your hand, back, or other part of the body from doing the same motion over and over, losing your hearing because of constant loud noise.
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What are the benefits?

They can include:

  • Medical Care – Paid for by your employer to help you recover from an injury or illness caused by work. This includes doctor visits and other treatment services, tests, medicines, equipment, and travel costs reasonably necessary to treat your injury.
  • Temporary Disability Benefits – Payments if you lose wages because your injury prevents you from doing your usual job while recovering.
  • Permanent Disability Benefits – Payments if you do not recover completely and your injury causes a permanent loss of physical or mental function that a doctor can measure.
  • Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit – A voucher to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement if you are eligible to receive permanent disability benefits, your employer does not offer you work, and you do not return to work for your employer. This benefit is available for workers injured in 2004 or later. If your injury also occurred in 2013 or later, and you received a Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit, you may also be eligible for an additional, one-time payment under the Return-to-Work Supplement Program.
  • Death Benefits – Payments to your spouse, children, or other dependents if you die from a job injury or illness.

Termination of Employment - Labor Code 132(a) violation

It is illegal for your employer to punish or fire you for having a job injury, or for filing a workers’ compensation claim when you believe your injury was caused by your job. It’s also illegal for your employer to punish or fire co-workers who testify in your case. The California Labor Code (section 132a) prohibits this kind of discrimination.

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Serious & Willful Misconduct

If your injury is the result of the Employer’s Serious and Willful misconduct, then you can file a Serious and Willful claim directly against your employer, not the employer’s insurance company. A Serious and Willful act is an intentional act, more than a negligent, improper act or omission, by the employer with the knowledge that a serious injury will be a probable result of such act. Further, the employer’s misconduct could result in failure to provide a safe workplace or violation of a safety order, and the employee was injured as a consequence of such misconduct.

Uninsured Employers Benefit Trust Fund (UEBTF)

If you were injured on the job and think your employer was illegally uninsured, you may apply to the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund (UEBTF) for any benefits to which you might be entitled.

Subsequent Injuries Benefit Trust Fund (SIBTF)

The SIBTF is a source of additional compensation to injured workers who already had a disability or impairment at the time of injury. For benefits to be paid from the SIBTF, the combined effect of the injury and the previous disability or impairment must result in a permanent disability of at least 70 percent. The fund enables employers to hire disabled workers without fear of being held liable for the effects of previous disabilities or impairments.

Did You Know?

  • Medical care must be paid for by your employer if you get hurt on the job—whether or not you miss time from work.
  • You may be eligible to receive benefits even if you are a temporary or part-time worker.
  • You may be covered by workers’ compensation as an employee, even if you are called an “independent contractor.”
  • You do not have to be a legal resident of the United States to receive most workers’ compensation benefits.
  • You receive benefits no matter who was at fault for your job injury.
  • You can’t sue your employer for a job injury (in most cases).
  • It’s illegal for your employer to punish or fire you for having a job injury or for requesting workers’ compensation benefits when you believe your injury was caused by your job.