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Workers' Compensation Cover All of My Lost Wages?


In California, workers’ compensation can cover lost wages through disability benefits, but the amount of compensation is unlikely to cover all of an employee’s lost wages. This is due to statutory limits on how much compensation a person can receive while on temporary or permanent disability.

Navigating the complexities of workers' compensation can be daunting, especially when it comes to understanding if it will cover all lost wages. In California, the workers' compensation system is designed to provide financial protection for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. However, there is a limit to how much it covers lost wages.

Temporary Disability & Lost Wages

In California, temporary disability benefits are typically calculated as two-thirds of your average weekly wage before the injury, up to $1,619.15 per week. This means that you'll receive a percentage of your pre-injury earnings as temporary disability payments.

Temporary disability benefits are intended to provide financial support during your recovery period until you're able to return to work. In California, these benefits are generally paid for a maximum of 104 weeks within a five-year period from the date of the injury. However, the duration of temporary disability benefits may vary depending on factors such as the severity of your injury, the need for ongoing medical treatment, and your ability to return to work.

Permanent Disability & Lost Wages

Permanent disability benefits aim to provide financial support for individuals who are unable to earn the same income as before their work-related injury or illness. However, it's essential to understand that permanent disability benefits may not fully replace lost wages.

Permanent disability benefits in California are based on the impairment of earning capacity rather than the actual loss of earnings. This means that individuals with similar disabilities may receive different benefit amounts based on their pre-injury earnings and occupation.

In certain cases where the permanent disability significantly reduces the individual's earning capacity, they may be eligible for a wage loss supplement. This supplement provides additional compensation to partially offset the difference between pre-injury earnings and post-injury earning capacity.

Do You Need Help with Workers’ Compensation?

At Smolich and Smolich, we understand the challenges that injured workers face, from navigating the claims process to dealing with insurance companies and employers. Our team of skilled attorneys is experienced in workers' compensation law and has a proven track record of helping clients secure the compensation they need to move forward with their lives.

For more information or to request a complimentary consultation, contact us online.