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Temporary Disability

Bakersfield Temporary Disability Claims Lawyer

One of the main concerns employees have after suffering an occupational injury or illness is the income they may lose due to missing work. However, California offers employees temporary disability benefits to compensate them for the wages they lose while recovering from a work-related debilitating condition. In many cases, it helps to work with an experienced attorney who understands California’s workers’ compensation laws and can help you with your claim. Berry, Smith & Bartell’s Bakersfield workers’ compensation attorneys have more than 130 years of combined professional experience helping injured workers in California. We have handled numerous workers’ compensation cases and know which strategies are available to assist you after being seriously injured in a workplace accident.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis and all of our services are provided at no upfront cost. Our partners are all members of the California Applicants' Attorneys Association, an organization that has advocated for California workers since 1966. Our attorneys will carefully review your claim to help you understand which benefits you may pursue for your medical expenses and lost wages. You only have to pay us for representing you if we recover benefits for your claim. Our office is just a short drive from the Kern River off of California Avenue.   

Call 1-800-848-6288 to get started today.

What Are Temporary Disability Benefits?

Temporary disability benefits are payments employees receive if they lose wages because of an injury that prevents them from working or doing their usual job while recovering.

Employees may be entitled to temporary disability benefits if a doctor says that the employee is unable to do the regular duties of his or her job for more than three days, the employee is hospitalized overnight, or if your employer does not offer you other work that pays your usual income while you are recovering from a work-related injury.

There are two types of benefits you may receive if you qualify for temporary disability benefits. The benefits you receive depend on the severity of your disability and if you can still perform the regular duties of your job. The two types of temporary disability benefits are:

  • Temporary total disability: These benefits are intended for an employee who is completely disabled for a period of time after a work-related accident.
  • Temporary partial disability: These benefits are intended for an employee who has recovered from his or her injury to a point where he or she can perform some light duties at work. If your employer pays you less for performing lighter duties, you may qualify for temporary partial disability.

If you believe you are entitled to disability benefits, but have not received them, contact Berry, Smith & Bartell's Bakersfield temporary disability lawyers to schedule a free and confidential consultation. We will review your workers’ compensation claim and work-related injury to help you determine which benefits you may be entitled to receive.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.

Work-Related Accidents that May Cause Temporary Disabilities

An employee may be entitled to receive temporary disability benefits if he or she suffers a disability due to a work-related accident. There are many types of accidents and work-related tasks that may result in a disabling injury, including:

  • Caught-in between accidents
  • Overexertion
  • Struck by a falling object or piece of equipment
  • Slip or trip and fall accidents
  • Automobile accidents
  • Repetitive motion tasks 
  • Fall accidents
  • Machinery accidents

If you have been injured in a work-related accident, it is important that you understand that workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system. This means you do not have to prove that your employer or co-worker is responsible for causing your injury to receive workers’ compensation benefits, including temporary disability. You will be provided these benefits if your injury is work-related.

To find out how a Bakersfield temporary disability lawyer can help you, call 1-800-848-6288.

How Employees Are Disqualified from Temporary Disability Benefits

In some situations, employees can disqualify themselves from receiving temporary disability benefits because of:

  • Failing to report their injury to their employer
  • Failing to seek medical attention and treatment for a workplace injury
  • Receiving unemployment benefits
  • Receiving sick leave that equals the employee’s regular wages
  • Using drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident
  • Fighting or assaulting another employee in the workplace
  • Becoming injured while engaging in activities unrelated to the employee’s occupation
  • Being injured outside of the workplace
  • Receiving paid family leave benefits
  • Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident
  • Acquiring an injury outside of the workplace
  • Fighting or assaulting another coworker, supervisor or bystander at the time of the injury

All too often, employers dispute their employees’ workers compensation claims by accusing the employee of filing a false report or failing to correctly file a claim. When this occurs, you should consider consulting with a Bakersfield temporary disability attorney who understands California’s workers’ compensation system and can help you get the benefits you need.

To get started, complete a Free Case Evaluation form.

How Much Are Temporary Disability Benefits?

Typically, the amount of temporary disability benefits you receive while recovering from an on-the-job injury is two-thirds of your regular income. However, you cannot receive more than the maximum weekly amount set by law.

The maximum amount of disability benefits California employees can receive changes annually. According to the California Department of Industrial Relation’s benefits table, the following benefits amounts may apply to your claim:

  • For workers’ compensation claims filed on or after Jan. 1, 2018, the maximum weekly amount of temporary disability benefits you may receive is $1,216
  • For workers’ compensation claims filed on or after Jan. 1, 2019, the maximum weekly amount of temporary disability benefits is $1,242.78

To decide the amount of benefits you may receive, a claims administrator will consider several aspects of your employment and ability to earn an income:

  • What was your average weekly wage before the injury?
  • Did you have a second job when injured?
  • Did you have a seasonal job?
  • Did your wages rise or fall before you were injured?
  • Were you earning additional income at the time of your injury? This may include income from tips, overtime, bonuses, housing, clothing or car allowances.
  • Were you scheduled for a wage increase after the date you suffered your injury?
  • Have you received temporary disability benefits more than two years after the date of your injury? 

You must provide proof of all earnings to the claims administrator, who will consider all forms of income when deciding your temporary disability benefits.

If you believe you have been provided less temporary disability benefits than you deserve, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney for help. A Bakersfield temporary disability lawyer can review all forms of income you were earning at the time of your accident to determine the true amount of weekly temporary disability benefits you may be entitled to receive.

Schedule a free consultation with our attorneys by calling 1-800-848-6288.

When Will I Receive Temporary Disability Benefits?  

To receive temporary disability benefits, you will first need to receive medical treatment from a health care provider. He or she must diagnose you with a disability that prevents you from working for more than three days or requires you to be hospitalized overnight.

Then, you will need to file a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1) to begin the workers’ compensation process. Your employer must provide you a copy of this form within one day of you reporting your injury.

Once you have completed form DWC 1 and submitted it to your employer, the insurance company has 14 days to mail you a letter telling you the status of your claim. If you do not receive this letter, contact your employer’s insurance company immediately.

If your employer’s insurance company sends you a letter stating that your temporary disability benefits have been approved, you will begin receiving benefits. Once you have received your first benefits payment, you will receive payments every two weeks on the same day for the amount of time you are eligible.

When Will I Stop Receiving Temporary Disability Benefits?

You typically stop receiving temporary disability benefits when your health care provider determines that your injury has healed enough for you to return to work.

However, temporary disability benefit payments will not last for more than 104 weeks within a five-year period from the date of your injury. However, payments for severe injuries that cause long-term disability, such as burn injuries or chronic lung disease, can last longer than 104 weeks.

Can My Temporary Disability Benefits Be Delayed?

In rare situations a claims administration may not be able to determine if your injury is covered by workers’ compensation. When this occurs, the claims administrator must delay your first temporary disability payment to investigate your claim.

Typically, delays do not last more than 90 days. If there is a delay, you will be notified through a letter sent to you by a claims administrator. The letter must state why your benefit payments have been delayed, what additional information the claims administrator needs and when a decision will be made.

If the insurer provides a reasonable excuse for a delayed or late payment, you will be owed an additional 10 percent of your disability payment. If you do not receive a reasonable excuse for a delayed or late payment, your insurer will owe you 25 percent of your disability payment.

It is important that you remain attentive when dealing with an insurer providing you temporary disability benefits. A helpful temporary disability benefits lawyer in Bakersfield will know how to handle your claim to ensure you receive the amount of benefits you deserve on time each payment period. To find out more about how an attorney can help you, contact Berry, Smith & Bartell for a free and confidential consultation.

Contact us to find out if you have a case.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Bakersfield Temporary Disability Lawyer

After being injured in a work-related accident, many employees find that they are unfamiliar with California’s workers’ compensation process. If you believe you are entitled to temporary disability benefits and have not received a payment or have not been provided the benefits you deserve, contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Berry, Smith & Bartell’s Bakersfield temporary disability attorneys understand how to handle workers’ compensation claims in multiple industries. During your free consultation, we will carefully review your disability and loss of income to help determine the amount of benefits you may be entitled to receive. If you are not satisfied with the amount of temporary disability benefits you have received, or were wrongfully denied benefits, we will help you file an appeal to reverse the insurer’s decision.

All of our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means we will represent your claim at no upfront cost. You only have to pay us if we help you recover the benefits you deserve.

For a free case evaluation with Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation call 1-800-848-6288 today!

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