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What you need to know about temporary disability benefits

Temporary disability benefits are payments you get after you are injured at work, and your injuries prevent you from doing your job while recovering. Temporary disability pays up to two-thirds of the gross wages (pre-tax) that you lose while recuperating from your injuries.

Under California law, you cannot receive more than the maximum weekly amount set at  $1,356.31. You are required to report to the claims administrator all the forms of income that you receive from work, including food, lodging, commissions, tips, overtime and bonuses. You should also report any earnings from work you did at other jobs when you got injured.

When do temporary disability benefits begin and end?

It all rests with your physician. Temporary disability payments start when your doctor says you can’t discharge your regular duties for more than three days or you get hospitalized overnight. The benefits stop when you resume work or when the doctor deems you capable of going back to work. They may also stop when your physician ascertains that you have reached the maximum medical improvement, which means no further treatment will improve your condition.

In addition, you can only receive temporary disability benefits for a maximum of 104 weeks if you suffered your injuries after April 19, 2004, and reported them within five years from when they occurred. There are exceptions to this legal deadline, and extensive injuries like severe burns can be covered for up to 240 weeks.

Ensure your workers’ comp rights are protected

Knowing more about what the law says regarding the nature of your injuries and the benefits you may be will safeguard your interests. Remember, a workplace injury can leave you in financial distress since you may be put out of work for a considerable period.