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4 benefits options if you are injured at work

Workplace injury is a scary situation, especially if you are trying to provide for a family. You may worry about lost work time if you're injured or whether you'll recover to a point where you can do your job again.

In California, there are four types of worker's compensation benefits you can receive. It is always a good idea to get a free consultation from an attorney before taking legal action, but after you open a worker's compensation case, you may be eligible for at least one of these four benefits. They can ease the expense of recovery and help you make up for lost income and work time.

1. Medical care

If an injury is work-related, California law requires that your medical expenses are paid for. You cannot legally be billed by a doctor for treatment that is work-related. People falsely believe that they must somehow come up with the money to treat themselves after a workplace injury, but this isn't the case. Make sure you look into medical care as soon as possible after an injury to avoid aggravating your condition or suffering longer than necessary.

2. Temporary disability

Temporary disability benefits are granted to compensate for income you lose while you are recovering and unable to perform your job. Usually TD covers two-thirds of your wages during recovery, and it is available as soon as you are hospitalized overnight or are unable to perform your job for three days due to a workplace injury.

You no longer receive TD benefits once you are released to return to work or if you have recovered as much as the doctor says you are going to recover. If you don't agree with a doctor's assessment of your injury or their treatment for you, an attorney can meet with the person in charge of your claim and resolve the dispute or advocate for a new doctor.

3. Permanent disability

Sometimes a workplace injury has lasting effects that will continue to hinder your ability to work. Permanent disability benefits rarely cover all of the income lost from the injury, but it does provide compensation over time for an inability or difficulty to work. The amount you will receive depends on factors like date of injury and how much your injury hinders you.

As with temporary disability, if you don't agree with a doctor's assessment, an attorney can help you dispute it and fight for your rights and proper treatment.

4. Retraining voucher

California offers vouchers for people injured in the workplace, which help pay for schooling, training, and certifications. A retraining voucher offers you opportunities to advance your skills or education. This increases your versatility in the workplace and can provide better opportunities in the future. Details of your voucher and eligibility will depend on the date of your injury.

Do not hesitate to ask an attorney about all of your options and what you are eligible to receive in your situation.

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