Who is Entitled To Worker’s Comp Benefits

All employees in California are entitled to Workers Compensation benefits.  These benefits were enacted by the California Legislature to guard employers and Workers Comp Insurance companies from lawsuits by sick or injured employees while still giving the injured/ill employee certain protections.

An injury or illness sustained on the job is covered under Workers Compensation law. This generally includes:  specific injuries, such as a fall from a ladder or slipping while carrying something as part of your job; continuous trauma (CT) injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome to your wrists, sustained over a course of months or years working for the same employer; illnesses sustained on the job, such as chemical exposure or certain types of cancer, depending on your job; psychological treatment, such as counseling for stress or depression; and injuries inflicted by other employees, whether accidental or intentional.

When we say all employees, we mean ALL employees.  This means any worker, regardless of full or part-time position, or whether you are a legal citizen, carry a “green card” or are an illegal immigrant or undocumented worker.  In addition, home workers (for example, housekeepers or nannies), agricultural and farm workers, casual or seasonal employees, and some volunteer workers, are also eligible for Workers Compensation benefits as well.

Some Independent Contractors, such as freelance writers or computer consultants, are not covered by Workers Comp, as they are not considered “employees”.  However, employers will sometimes try to classify certain “employees” as “Independent Contractors” in an attempt to dodge Insurance requirements.  It’s best to contact a workers comp attorney with experience in these matters if this situation applies to you.

An injured worker may be entitled to certain benefits such as medical treatment, Temporary Disability (TD) payments, Permanent Disability (PD) payments, Vocational Rehabilitation Training (Voc Rehab), Death Benefits in certain situations, as well as other potential benefits. Read more about what types of benefits are available to injured or ill workers.

What to Do If you Become Injured or Ill

If you are injured or become ill on the job, you must report your injury/illness immediately to your supervisor/employer. Your employer should send you for medical treatment as soon as possible after you report your injury/illness. There are safeguards in place to prevent your employer from retaliating against you for seeking treatment or reporting the injury.

You can get insurance information from your local WCAB Information and Assistance Officer. You can also seek the help of an attorney to guide you through the “red tape” of the WCAB’s various forms and procedures.

Contact a workers compensation attorney today.