How long Can You Receive Worker Compensation Benefits in California?

Despite the desire to work and earn a decent living life can throw obstacles at one that can completely destabilize one. For example, one can sustain an injury while on the job that can leave one unable to work for a time, or even permanently unable to perform full-time work. So what happens then? Should a person be allowed to starve to death because he has suffered an accident while at work?

You must have answered ‘no,’ and rightly so! It would be monumentally cruel to leave a worker to his fate after a work-related injury. It would be a great injustice on the part of the employer, and a failure of society. 

Thankfully, there is something called worker compensation which is designed to provide financial cover for the injured worker. 

What is the Purpose of Worker Compensation?  

Workers’ compensation benefits are designed with the intention to keep you financially stable while you are recovering from a work-related injury. The issue is that some persons recover quicker than others. Many persons thus want to ask if they will be able to use workers’ compensation for as long as they are injured. They ask ‘will I be able to get worker’s benefits for as long as I’m sick or injured?’ The answer is ‘not in all cases.’ This is because most forms of workers’ compensation benefits usually have a limit. Sometimes, the worker is fully fit before they elapse, and other times that is not the case. The question therefore is:

How long Can You Receive Worker Compensation Benefits in California?

Worker’s benefits usually have a 2-Year benefit limit for most cases. Most of the worker’s compensation claims that were filed in California were issued to cover 104 weeks or 2 years. The 104 weeks of benefits can be distributed across a 5 year period though. This can help you if you do not need to use all 104 weeks consecutively. 

Sometimes, some work-related injuries that are severe– such as third-degree burns and lung diseases – can trigger up to 240 weeks of workers’ compensation benefits. That calculates to just a bit more than 4 years and 6 months.

Long-Term Disability Pay for Permanent, Life-Changing Injuries

Some injuries are not likely to heal for a long time. This is why under some workers’ compensation insurance policies, workers can receive long-term disability (LTD) benefits if it so happens that have sustained a permanent injury during the course of their work. An LTD policy can last throughout the persons’ life, providing a percentage of the wages they earned while they worked, and medical cost benefits each month. However, as per California law, employers are not required to provide this type of insurance (Long Term Disability) for their workers- only short-term disability benefits.

So where does the employee turn after the duration of the worker’s benefit has ended? Well, then the worker may find financial assistance through the Social Security Disability (SSD) insurance. The SSD could help the injured worker by providing regular payments which will help the injured worker meet his needs.

Why Workers Compensation Benefits are Important

Most workers’ compensation policies will provide a worker with about 66-2/3% of their usual wages before any taxes are deducted. Presently, California has set the maximum weekly payment amount to $1,356.31 per week, and the minimum weekly payment amount to $182.29. This is good news to the worker because these monies can go a long way to provide the needed financial assistance which will help the injured worker survive the injury and get back on his feet. 



Please note that on how long does workers’ benefits last in California, the maximum and minimum weekly payment amounts vary from year to year. If you have sustained an injury while at work and you have not received any form of compensation, please contact a lawyer immediately. Sometimes, insurance companies have been known to put profits before people, and you may have to fight to get what is rightfully yours.