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SOME “PEARLS” FOR INJURED WORKERS

Here are some things you should know and should consider if you file a Workers’ Compensation case as a result of a work-related injury:

  • If you are physically and/or emotionally able to continue working without aggravating your injury or causing more harm to yourself–do so;
  • A workers’ compensation settlement will not make up for a lost job;
  • If your injury is so significant that you are not able to work and declared “temporary totally disabled” by a physician, you will likely receive temporary total disability benefits which are paid at a rate of 2/3’s of your average weekly wage up to a maximum benefit rate that varies depending on your date of injury;
  • However, temporary total disability payments are now limited to 104 weeks, which sounds like a long time, unless you have a very serious injury or a lengthy recovery time, delays seeing doctors and/or delays getting recommended treatment for your injuries;
  • You could end up in a situation where your temporary total disability (TTD) benefits end and despite the fact that a doctor or doctors think you are temporary totally disabled or even in need of surgery–you are not entitled to further TTD benefits;
  • So you could face a scenario where you are:

–out of work;

–unable to work because of your injuries;

–facing further treatment, even surgery

–yet you are only receiving between 230-270/week

Hardly enough to get by–especially the cost of living in Southern California.

  • Always keep your options open. If you can’t return to the job you were doing when you were injured, try to find a job you can do. You know your body, your injury and your limitations better than any one else;
  • Having or finding or returning to a job does not mean your workers’ compensation case will have no value. You will always be entitled to a monetary recovery if you have a permanent disability–working or not. The same is true as to your continued entitlement to medical care;
  • Always remember to also file for State Disability Benefits, even if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits. This will preserve your claim date should you need, at a later time in your case, to draw from your State Disability benefits;
  • If you are so disabled that you feel you can’t work at all, consider filing (if eligible) for Social Security Disability Benefits. There can be an offset based on the benefits you receive in your workers’ compensation case–but it’s an offset only, you will not receive less money by receiving a combination of both benefits.

Richard Irwin

Mr. Irwin is a recognized specialist in Workers’ Compensation law. He has been certified as a specialist by the State Bar of California since 1995. He limits his practice to handling only workers’ compensation cases. View Attorney Richard Irwin's Attorney Bio Here.

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