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Temporary Disability

Fresno Temporary Disability Lawyers

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Did you suffer an injury at work that has left you temporarily disabled?

You may be able to obtain compensation for your medical expenses along with temporary disability benefits to cover some of the wages you are unable to earn during your period of disability. These benefits can help prevent a workplace injury from turning into a financial crisis because you cannot work. There are many advantages to working with an experienced attorney as you pursue the benefits you are entitled. The Fresno temporary disability lawyers at Berry, Smith & Bartell have helped many workers recover the benefits they need for medical bills and lost wages. We offer a free, no obligation legal consultation, so there is no risk in contacting us. If you decide to work with us, you will not be charged legal fees unless you receive compensation.   

Our Fresno office is located at 6715 N. Palm Avenue, Suite 214, just minutes from some of the local hospitals in the area, including St. Agnes Medical Center and San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form or call us at 1-800-848-6288.

What is a Temporary Disability?

Many workplace injuries are temporary – workers will eventually get back to full health and be able to work in the same capacity as before their injury. That is why these injuries are called temporary disabilities.

Common examples of temporary disabilities could include:

  • Broken forearm
  • Cuts or lacerations
  • Broken leg
  • Strained muscles
  • Bruises
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Sprains
  • Bruised ribs
  • Whiplash
  • Concussions
  • Certain types of burn injuries

Temporary Injuries That Do Not Qualify for Benefits

If the injury was work-related, you could be entitled to temporary disability benefits and other forms of workers' compensation, such as the cost of your medical treatment. However, your temporary disability will not qualify for benefits under certain circumstances:

  • Injury was caused by drugs or alcohol – You will not be able to obtain compensation if the injury occurred while you were intoxicated.
  • Injury was a result of fighting – If the fight was started by another employee, you will likely still be entitled to benefits. However, if you intentionally started the fight you will not be able to recover benefits.
  • Injury was the result of you committing a crime – If you were committing a crime and suffered an injury, you will not be entitled to benefits.
  • You were off duty – If you were taking part in an off-duty recreational activity, you will not be entitled to benefits unless you were expected to participate in the activity as a condition of your job.
  • Injury occurred outside the workplace – For example, if you were injured while commuting to work, it would likely not be covered by workers' compensation. However, if you were conducting off-site business on behalf of your employer, the injury might be covered.

Some workers mistakenly believe the injury does not qualify unless they can prove someone else is at fault. However, workers' compensation is a no-fault system, which means you do not need to prove someone else is at fault. If you suffered a work-related injury, you will likely be entitled to benefits.

Our Fresno temporary disability lawyers can help you pursue the benefits you deserve for your injury. We have detailed knowledge of workers' compensation laws and how to appeal if you are denied or receiving less benefits than you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no obligation legal consultation to find out how we may be able to help you.

Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today to talk to a Fresno workers' compensation lawyer.

Temporary Disability Benefits in California

You are entitled to temporary disability (TD) benefits if you lost wages because your employer does not offer other work that pays usual wages and the treating doctor says you are unable to do your normal job for more than three days or are hospitalized overnight.

The extent of your disability determines the type of TD benefits you receive. If you are completely unable to work, you are totally disabled and are entitled to temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. If you can work in some capacity and are receiving wages lower than the maximum limit set by California law, you will receive temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits.

How Much Will I Receive?

Generally, you are entitled to temporary disability benefits equal to two-thirds of the wages you lose while recovering from an injury, up to a maximum amount set by law. For injuries that occurred in 2018, the maximum amount you can receive is $1,206.92, according to the benefits tables from the California Department of Industrial Relations. The maximum amount for injuries suffered in 2019 is $1,242.78.

There is also a minimum amount of benefits set by law. Workers who earn less than $273.44 per week and suffer a temporary disability in 2018 must receive a minimum of $182.29 in benefits. The minimum amount for injuries suffered in 2019 is $187.81.

If you cannot work at all, you will be entitled to two-thirds of your pre-injury wages. If you can work, you will be entitled to two-thirds of the wages you are unable to earn because of your disability. For example, if you earned $500 per week before your injury but only earn $300 while you are recovering, you would be entitled to two-thirds of the remaining $200, or approximately $132.

All forms of income you receive from work will be factored into the calculation of your pre-injury wages, including:

  • Wages
  • Overtime pay
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Food
  • Lodging
  • Tips
  • Wages from other jobs you did when you were injured

Make sure to provide your claims administrator with proof of all earnings so he or she can consider them when calculating the value of your TD benefits.

How Are Benefits Paid?

If you suffer a workplace injury that leaves you temporarily disabled, you are entitled to TD benefits within 14 days of your employer learning that you have an injury or your treating doctor saying your injury prevents you from going to work. Once you receive your first payment, you will receive a check every two weeks for as long as you are eligible.

You will stop receiving payments after one of the following things happens:

  • The doctor treating you says you can return to your job
  • You are able to return to work and earn your regular wages, even if you are doing modified or alternate work
  • Your condition is not improving or getting worse

Under state law, the claims administrator is required to send a letter notifying you that payments are ending within 14 days of your final payment of TD benefits.

If the doctor determines you will never fully recover, you may be entitled to permanent disability benefits.

Late Payments

Sometimes a claims administrator cannot determine if an injury is covered by workers' compensation or if you are eligible for TD benefits. If this happens, your payments may be delayed. Most delays are for no more than 90 days.

When this happens, the administrator is required to send you a delay letter explaining when a decision will be made, why you will not be receiving payments, and the information needed to make a decision. If there are any other delays, the administrator must send you more delay letters.  

Sometimes payments are sent out late. When this happens, you may be entitled to an additional 10 percent of the amount of the check. However, if there was no reasonable excuse for a delay, you could receive 25 percent of each late payment, up to a maximum of $10,000.

The Fresno temporary disability attorneys at our firm can answer any questions you have about TD benefits during a free, no obligation consultation. We can help negotiate a settlement if you are not receiving the benefits you deserve. We are also prepared to go through every step of the appeals process to obtain fair compensation. This includes helping you compile additional evidence, representing you throughout the process and advocating for your best interests.

Contact an attorney right now to find out how we can help you with your claim.

Contact a Fresno Temporary Disability Lawyer

Workers' compensation benefits are extremely important after a workplace injury. Without them, a workplace injury can turn into a financial catastrophe, considering medical bills and the wages you will lose because you are unable to work.

The Fresno temporary disability attorneys at our firm have helped many injured workers recover the fair compensation they deserve while they are recovering. We know how to prove a workplace injury should be covered by workers' compensation and how to pursue the benefits our clients deserve.

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

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