Getting injured on the job can be a stressful situation, especially if the injury is severe enough to temporarily, or permanently, put you out of commission. Adding to the stress your unfamiliarity with workers compensation laws, and what you are or aren't legally entitled to, can make a difficult situation even worse. This article outlines some of the basics regarding worker's compensation law for those living in California, including some eligibility requirements, and the processes for obtaining claim benefits or disputing an application denial.
A Few Clarifications
In California, it is not a prerequisite that you be employed full-time to receive worker's compensation benefits. Even part-time and temporary workers may be eligible to receive benefits in certain instances.
Additionally, you are probably aware that it is illegal for an employer to punish or fire you as a result of your claiming worker's compensation benefits, but you might not have known that this applies even to workers who are not legal residents. In other words, your legal residency status does not affect your eligibility for workers compensation in California.
Filing a Claim
You can download a claim form from California's worker's compensation website to get the process rolling. You will need to fill out the Employee section of the form and send it to your employer as soon as possible, following your injury.
Once your employer has received the form and filled out the Employer section, he or she will relay it to the insurance company. Once received, the insurance company has two weeks to inform you on the status of your claim.
Acceptance & Rejection
If your application for benefits was successful, you're entitled to a wide range of coverage. Workers compensation includes coverage for medical expenses, income for temporary and permanent disabilities, and job training in the event you are unable to return to your regular job.
If your claim was denied, you can file what is known as an application for adjudication of claim. Additionally, you need to file a declaration of readiness to proceed, in order to have your case heard by a judge. Both of these forms are available on California's disability website.
If after this hearing you are still unsatisfied, you may request that another judge see the case. In the event that the both judges rule against you, your last resort is filing a petition for reconsideration. A petition for reconsideration represents a last-ditch effort to make your case. You need to include specific reasons as to why you feel your claim is justified, along with supporting legal provisions that corroborate your argument.
Overall, it is important that you understand your options for worker's compensation as a California resident. Not only are you entitled to benefits irrespective of your residency status, but even if your request is initially denied, there are numerous options for recourse and you need to ensure you exhaust them all if you've been injured on the job. Talk to a professional like Law Office of Leslie S. Shaw for assistance.Share
23 March 2015
Hi, my name is Sally. I was living a pretty average, uneventful life until I had an accident. At that point, my life become more stressful and painful than I could have ever imagined. Sadly, my accident happened on private property, and it could have been prevented if the owner of the property had kept up with his shoveling. For months, I missed work, suffered through constant pain and become more and more depressed. Finally, a friend referred me to an accident and injury lawyer, and she showed me how to get the compensation that I deserved. I don't want to see anyone else suffer like I did, and because of that, I decided to create this blog. Here, I hope anyone who has been injured can find the information they need to get fully compensated and regain their lives. Enjoy your reading and thanks for stopping by!