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Workers' compensation and temporary disability's timeframe

California workers who are injured on the job will count on workers' compensation benefits to see them through their recovery. For those whose injuries are not permanent, temporary disability (TD) benefits provide payments for lost wages while the person is recovering. TD benefits under workers' compensation were covered in a previous post. A concern that many people who are getting TD benefits have is when they will begin and end. Many injuries that are incurred due to the work a person does can vary in when they will be sufficiently resolved to get back to work. The timeline of when the benefits begin and end is vital.

The TD payments will start when the medical professional overseeing the case states that the person is not able to do his or her customary work for more than three days or if the person is hospitalized overnight. The payments for TD will be made every two weeks. When the person returns to work, the TD benefits will cease. They will also stop if the doctor releases the person for work or states that the injury has improved to its maximum and will not get any better that it is.

The date in which the injury occurred is important. If the injury came about between April 19, 2004 and January 1, 2008, the maximum amount of time the TD benefits can be provided is 104 weeks from the initial payment. For people who suffered their injury after January 1, 2008, the 104 weeks of payments will be available within a five-year timeframe. This will begin from the date the injury occurred. If a person has suffered injuries that are considered "long-term" like chronic lung disease or if there were severe burns, it can go beyond that and extend to 240 weeks within five years.

Knowing the various facts about workers' compensation benefits is imperative after a worker has suffered an injury that keeps them off the job. In some instances, mistakes are made by the insurer or there are other issues that keep a worker from getting the most TD benefits entitled to. A legal professional who is skilled at dealing with workers' compensation cases can help to get what is owed.

Source: dir.ca.gov, "Division Of Workers' Compensation," accessed on Nov. 15, 2017

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