Help for injured or ill employees in California

People who work in California may be eligible for financial benefits if they are injured on the job or experience a job-related illness.

People who are employed in California should know that their financial stability does not need to be ruined should they ever be hurt or become sick on the job. When work-related injuries or illnesses happen, there may be the option for employees to apply for and receive workers' compensation benefits.

Understanding the various types of benefits available is important so that people know what to do if or when such a situation occurs.

What type of benefits can I get if I am hurt at work?

As explained by the California Department of Industrial Relations, there are multiple types of benefits that the workers' compensation program might be able to approve to an ill or injured worker.

One of the benefits is payment for wages that are lost when the employee is unable to go to work. The amount of money that a person in this situation may receive will vary based upon multiple factors.

It is also possible that a person might be able to be compensated for out-of-pocket transportation costs associated with getting to and from appointments for treatment related to the illness or injury. These costs range from reimbursement for mileage driven, toll fees and even parking expenses.

If a worker is killed in a job accident or dies from a work-related illness, their surviving spouse or dependents may be able to receive death benefits.

How much money is available for the benefits?

The amount of money that a person might receive depends in part on the nature of the injury or illness and the length of time it is expected to last. Generally speaking, a person's lost wages benefit may be paid up to a certain percent of their earnings. On top of that, there is a cap on the amount of money that can be received. This cap is based on the statewide average weekly wage.

How serious are workplace injuries in California and the U.S.?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there were nearly 4,700 deaths in the private sector associated with workplace injuries or illnesses in 2016.

In California for that same year, more than 466,000 employees experienced some form of workplace injury or illness. Clearly there is a need for workers' compensation benefits in the state and across the nation.

How can I make sure to receive the benefits I deserve?

Filing for workers' compensation can sometimes be a long process. California employees should always contact an attorney for help with this so that they get the guidance they need at every step of the way.