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Understanding Caps on Workers’ Compensation Benefits in California

  • Published: May 10, 2024

Workplace injuries can be devastating for hard-working employees when they lead to temporary or permanent disability, thus affecting the employees’ earning potential. California’s workers’ compensation program is meant to help injured employees who cannot work by providing benefits as compensation for lost wages. The amount of benefits will vary, depending on the extent of the employee’s injury and how badly they are incapacitated. Temporary disability benefits are generally limited to two-thirds of the victim’s average weekly wage prior to the accident, and permanent disability benefits are typically capped at $290 per week.

If you were injured at work and are considering filing a workers’ compensation claim, the skilled attorneys with KCNS Law Group can explain your eligibility for the different types of benefits. We understand that recovering from your injury should be your highest priority, and we are dedicated to helping you obtain the maximum amount of workers’ compensation benefits possible.

The Purpose of Workers’ Compensation

In California, workers’ compensation assists those people who are unable to work due to a work-related injury. There are numerous scenarios in which a person may need to rely upon workers’ compensation. For example, a person might get injured at work and have to undergo a major surgery that entails a lengthy recovery process and many missed weeks of work. In addition, some employees may become permanently disabled and unable to work due to an injury they suffered on the job. When an employee is temporarily or permanently disabled due to a work injury, the workers’ compensation program offers monetary benefits to help those victims maintain a form of income to pay bills and support a family after becoming disabled.

In California, the workers’ compensation claim process can be lengthy and complicated; however, the insurance company handling your workers’ compensation claim should cover up to $10,000 in medical costs while your claim is under review. This protective measure keeps injured employees from worrying about how to pay for medical care when they are unable to work.

Caps on Workers’ Compensation Benefits in California

The two most common types of workers’ compensation benefits are temporary disability benefits and permanent disability benefits, and there are caps on the amount of benefits that a victim can receive. Temporary disability benefits are available when a victim cannot work while they recover from a work-related injury. The typical calculation for temporary disability benefits equals two-thirds of the victim’s average weekly wage prior to the injury-causing accident, and this amount is capped at a maximum of $1,619.14 per week for injuries that occurred on or after January 1, 2024. However, if a person’s average weekly wage before the injury was under $364.29, the temporary disability benefit amount depends on the same two-thirds calculation but is capped at $242.86 per week. 

The cap on temporary disability benefits depends on the date of your injury; therefore, you should keep detailed documentation of your injuries, symptoms, and medical costs after a workplace accident when you intend to file a workers’ compensation claim. Another general limit on temporary disability benefits is that payments will not extend past 104 weeks in the five-year period following the injury.

Similar to temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits have maximum limits. Permanent disability benefits are available when it is determined that you have reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI) after an injury and are unable to return to work. The amount of benefits is determined by a rating that your doctor gives you based on your job type, injury type, age, and extent of impairment. The rating is presented as a percentage of your total disability, and the limit to the damages depends on this rating. For injuries that occurred on or after January 1, 2014, and resulted in permanent disability, the maximum rate for permanent disability benefits is $290 per week for any rating of 1% to 100%. 

Reach Out to the Skilled Workers’ Compensation Attorneys With KCNS Law Group Today

The workers’ compensation program is intended to help injured workers during their time of need. Victims of workplace injuries must be able to support themselves and their families, and temporary and permanent disability benefits allow them to do so. If you have been injured at work, you should consult with our team of experienced workers’ compensation attorneys. We will help you understand the caps for both temporary and permanent disability benefits and whether or not you are eligible for either type. Our goal is to help you earn the maximum amount of benefits possible.

At KCNS Law Group, our team of skilled workers’ compensation attorneys can help you during every step of your claim process. To schedule your free consultation, you can fill out our contact form or call (818) 937-9255 today.

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