Riverside Disability Benefits Lawyers
Fighting for Injured and Disabled Workers in Riverside to Get the Benefits They Deserve
California workers are guaranteed a variety of rights when they are injured on the job. Workers who are unable to return to work as a result of a workplace injury can collect lost wages in the form of disability benefits, which vary depending on the nature and severity of the injury. If you’ve been hurt in the workplace, it’s vital to get seasoned, effective legal help from an effective workplace disability attorney in order to maximize your benefits and protect your family.
At Ochoa & Calderon, our experienced California worker disability attorneys have over two decades of experience helping injured workers get the medical care and benefits they are owed after an on-the-job injury. Whether you are partially or totally disabled, and whether your disability is short-term or long-term, we can help you get the financial assistance you are owed.
Temporary disability benefits cover a worker who is unable to work for a short period of time after a workplace injury. They are meant to kick in shortly after the workplace accident and end either when the employee returns to work or when the employee is switched over to permanent disability. The employee will switch to permanent disability if the treating physician declares the injured employee’s condition is “permanent and stationary,” which means they are not getting any better any time soon. Temporary disability covers an employee’s lost wages while they are recovering from a disabling injury or illness.
Temporary disability benefits are available when:
- The worker’s treating physician reports that the worker will be unable to return to their usual job for more than three days due to illness or injury; OR
- The worker is hospitalized overnight; AND
- The injured worker’s employer does not offer alternative work to the injured employee that would pay the worker’s typical wages while they are unable to perform their usual/previous job.
An employer can avoid the need to cover temporary disability if the worker is able to perform alternate work according to the treating physician, the employer has alternate work available to them, and the alternate work pays the same. Temporary disability benefits are tax-free.
Temporary disability comes in two forms:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD). The employee is unable to work at all while recovering from their illness or injury. Temporary permanent disability payments are typically two-thirds of the injured employee’s average weekly gross pre-tax wages at the time of their injury. California law sets additional maximum and minimum weekly payments.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD). The employee is able to do some work while recovering, the employer offers this work to the employee, but the injured employee’s temporary wages are below a limit set by state law. The employee can generally collect two-thirds of the lost wages. For example, if they are only able to work four hours a day, they may collect two-thirds of the wages for the other four hours for each day of missed work. California law sets additional maximum and minimum weekly payments.
Permanent disability applies when an employee is unable to return to work for at least a year due to a debilitating mental or physical condition. The condition may be caused by illness or injury. “Permanent” disability benefits may kick in even if the employee might potentially recover after a few years, despite the name. An employee will transition from temporary to permanent disability when a treating physician declares they have reached “maximum medical improvement” or “permanent and stationary” condition and their condition prevents them from being able to perform their usual job.
Permanent disability, like temporary disability, can be “total” or “partial.”
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD). Partial disability applies when the injured worker can still perform some work, even after the loss of some bodily functions. They may not be able to return to their old job, but they can find alternative work. The amount of benefits available depend upon the severity of the partial disability and its impact on the employee’s ability to work. The employee will be given a disability rating that establishes a compensation value for the injury.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD). PTD applies when an injured worker is unable to work at all, indefinitely, even after reaching maximum expected improvement. PTD might apply when, for example, a worker loses sight in both eyes or loses the ability to use both arms. Employees should be compensated heavily for a PTD injury or illness, necessitating the assistance of a seasoned disability benefits attorney.
Our Riverside Disability Benefits Lawyers Are Standing By to Fight For Your Benefits
For help getting benefits after an on-the-job injury or workplace illness, call Ochoa & Calderon to discuss your case with a dedicated and compassionate California workers’ comp lawyer. Call 951-901-4444 in Riverside or 844-401-0750 toll-free throughout Southern California.