- Tell your supervisor that you have been injured. A failure to notify your supervisor could result in a loss of benefits.
- Write down a description of how you injured yourself and the body parts you injured. Then send it to your immediate supervisor by email, text or letter.
- Fill out a claim form and give it to your employer. Submitting a written claim form (DWC-1 form) provides the required legal notice (proof you told your supervisor) and starts the workers’ compensation claims administration process.
- Ask for medical treatment. Even if your injury does not seem that bad in the beginning, you should have a health care provider evaluate your condition for your peace of mind and protection in the future. This is one of the first steps to ensuring that the insurance company has the information it needs to provide you with benefits.
- Apply for State Disability Insurance benefits. If the medical provider takes you off of work, apply for State Disability Insurance (SDI) benefits through the Employment Development Department immediately. It’s easy and you can do it online. Please make sure to check the box that says your injury is occupationally related.It is important to do this right away because the EDD determines benefit eligibility based on a quarters system. If you have enough quarters, you can receive SDI benefits (wage replacement) for up to a year. Keep in mind that the insurance company has up to 90 days to make a decision as to whether they will admit your claim and start providing you with wage replacement benefits (temporary total disability “TTD”). You could have no income for 90 days!
- Reduce your expenses. You may be surprised at how long it takes for you to heal and get back to work. Reducing your personal expenses will help keep you financially above water while you are dealing with your injury.
- Call Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld to advocate for your rights!
The law firm of Ghitterman, Ghitterman and Feld helps employees in the areas of workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability, disability retirement, personal injury, labor and employment issues. Founded in 1956, the firm now has offices in Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, Kern County, Tulare County, and Fresno County. The firm is proud to continue this tradition of securing all available rights for the injured and disabled in our community. For more information about what we do, how we might be about to help, or resources, see our website at www.ghitterman.com.