A workers’ compensation plan is a form of employment benefits covered by insurance coverage provided by employers. Each state has its own workers’ compensation laws and quotas. However, the aim is to provide a financial cushion to the workers who sustain an injury at work or become disabled due to their jobs.
If you are injured or disabled while at work and agree to accept workers’ compensation, you waive the right to sue your employer for any damages.
What Does California Workers’ Compensation Covers?
While benefits of workers’ compensation may vary by each state, here are the common coverages provided by most work compensation.
Medical care including treatment, surgeries, treatment, etc
Temporary disability benefits
Permanent disability benefits
Supplemental benefits for job displacement
Supplement for return-to-work
Workers’ compensation benefits in California cover any loss of income in case you have sustained an injury while at work. Furthermore, if you have fallen ill or developed a disability due to the nature of your work, workers’ compensation benefits will also cover those damages.
That said, injuries take time to heal. However, sometimes, benefits can be delayed, denied, miscalculated, and terminated. Therefore, you must hire an attorney specializing in workers’ compensation law in California.
Increase California Workers’ Compensation Benefits Expected in 2022
Last year, the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI) made an announcement about temporary total disability (TTD) and permanent total disability (PTD) benefits. The announcement promised a noticeable increase in pay rate for both TTD and PTD paid through workers’ compensation benefits to Californians.
According to the data published by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and CWCI, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused people a lot of money. Millions have taken huge pay cuts due to losing jobs and working at low-paying entry-level jobs.
Therefore, to keep workers in California safe, government bailouts and assistance allowed small businesses in the state to close while taking lower wages out of the state of California’s average-pay-per-worker number.
As this happened, the phenomenon triggered a drastic increase in California’s Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). As the average pay for every worker per week increased in the state of California, this also caused the state’s workers’ compensation benefits and insurance rates to increase. This was necessary to represent the average pay of the workers.
Therefore, the SAWW in California workers’ compensation benefits increased from $1,383 to $1,570. The former was the figure in the first quarter of 2020, whereas the latter figures are the recent ones from the first quarter of 2022.
Due to this spike in the recorded salaries in the state, the payments for California’s workers’ compensation benefits will now collectively represent the increase in salaried employees. The temporary total disability and permanent total disability rates also increased.
In 2021, the rates were $1,356.31 per week. However, this has now increased as well, and currently, in 2022, the rate stands at a new $1,539.71 per week. This represents a bump of $183.40 per week. The best part is that even if you applied for an injury claim before the increase was announced, the new rates would also be applicable to you.
So, if you or a loved one sustained an injury on the very first day of 2022 and applied for the claim, you will also be eligible to get the increased rate benefits.
SAWW and TTD/PTD Go Hand in Hand
According to the law in California, any increase in SAWW is directly associated with the weekly minimum TTD and PTD rates. In 2021, this amount was $203.44 PER week, but now in 2022, the new minimum per week rate is $230.95. Once again, this new rate is applicable to all injury claims filed from day one of 2022.
The increase in SAWW will also have an impact on the increased payment sums paid for other workers’ compensation benefits. Therefore, other areas that will also experience the increase include the following:
Any temporary total disability payments may last for more than 2 years/24 months.
Any permanent total disability payments associated with injuries date back as early as the beginning of 2003.
Death claims, i.e., when the worker did not survive the accident or injury at work.
When Do Bumps in California’s Workers’ Compensation Benefits Come into Effect?
Well, good news for you! The above-mentioned bumps in California’s workers’ compensation benefits are already in effect starting January 1, 2022. Whether you are an employer or an employee, the CWCI strongly advises you to examine and understand these new changes and benefit rates.
The last thing you want is to miscalculate the benefits and make an inaccurate payment to the worker. Employers have to remember and be extra cautious about this because CWCI has already made it clear that there will be penalties for underpaid benefits.
Tips to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in California
Here are some tips for applying for a workers’ compensation claim in case of an accident or injury at work.
You must report your injury and see a doctor immediately
You can claim a classification of your injury
Ask the doctor to provide you with a copy of the decision
Get the treatment and recovery and document everything
File a claim with an attorney with expertise in workers’ compensation law
Get Workers’ Compensation Assistance from Latimer Law
Suppose you are a legal resident in California and have sustained an injury at work or been diagnosed with TTD or PTD by a doctor. In that case, you are eligible to file a workers’ compensation benefits. However, this will require you to hire an attorney with expertise in workers’ compensation law.
We at Latimer law have years of experience in helping our clients. We will investigate, negotiate and ensure that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. You can contact us for a free consultation about the value of your compensation claim. Simply call us on 510-444-6555.