Temporary Disability Benefits
Temporary disability benefits are tax-free benefits provided to injured workers while they are healing and not capable of working. They exist so that injured workers do not lose their homes or exhaust their personal savings while they wait for their case to resolve, nor do they have to risk hurting themselves further by attempting to work before they are well enough to do so safely.
As a general rule, temporary disability benefits are two thirds of the worker's average weekly wages, subject to a minimum and maximum amount. These minimum and maximum amounts are adjusted each year. However, the maximum is approximately $1000 a week, and the minimum is approximately $220 a week. Further adjustments may be made if an injured worker is receiving income from other sources, such as another benefit system or a second job.
Not all injured workers qualify for temporary disability benefits. In order to qualify, an injured worker must have a compensable workers' compensation claim. In addition, an appropriate doctor must write a report indicating that the injured worker is either totally temporarily disabled, or can work only with restrictions and the injured worker's employer can't honor those restrictions. Moreover, the employer does not have to pay for the first three days an injured worker is unable to work — with some exceptions.
Temporary disability benefits are temporary. They do not last forever. With limited exceptions, the insurance company can only be compelled to pay 104 weeks of temporary disability benefits, and its obligation to pay ends after five years from the original date of injury. They also end when the injured worker fully recovers from his or her injury, or when a doctor writes a report finding the injured worker has recovered to the fullest extent possible (called maximum medical improvement). They also end when a doctor clears the injured worker to return to work even though they are still healing, and the employer accommodates any restrictions the doctor places on that worker.
Contact Our Firm
We never charge injured workers for consultations. You can contact us at 213-739-7000 to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our experienced attorneys. If you prefer, you can complete a short contact form online, and we will contact you. Our firm is located in Torrance, but we accept cases in Los Angeles County and the surrounding areas.