Los Angeles Work Comp Attorney FAQ – Temporary Disability Benefits

Los Angeles Workers Compensation Attorney

     In an effort to educate potential clients on the different aspects of California’s Workers’ Compensation system we have created this extensive FAQ addressing the most commonly asked questions about how work comp law works in Los Angeles.

Should you have any questions, please chat on our website or call us to provide you with more information since  Workers Compensation Law is full of complex and cumbersome administrative procedures, Contact our Los Angeles Work Comp Lawyer Today in order to maximize your potential case results.

What are temporary disability benefits?

    Temporary disability (TD) benefits are payments you get if you lose wages because your injury prevents you from doing your usual job while recovering. See the DWC fact sheet on TD for more information.

Are there different types of TD benefits?

   There are two types of TD benefits. If you cannot work at all while recovering, you receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. If you can’t work your full schedule while recovering, you receive temporary partial disability benefit (TPD) payments.

How much will I receive in TD payments?

    As a general rule, TD pays two-thirds of the gross (pre-tax) wages you lose while you are recovering from a job injury. However, you cannot receive more than the maximum weekly amount set by law. Your wages are figured out by using all forms of income you receive from work: wages, food, lodging, tips, commissions, overtime and bonuses. Wages can also include earnings from work you did at other jobs at the time you were injured. Give proof of these earnings to the claims administrator. The claims administrator will consider all forms of income when calculating your TD benefits. Please see the benefits chart for current benefit rates.

The minimum and maximum rates are adjusted annually.

What about TTD payments for low-wage workers?

    Any employee with earnings is entitled to TTD benefits. TTD payments will be paid at two-thirds the injured worker’s wages at time of injury. There are minimum and maximum rates for these benefits. Please consult the benefits chart for current rates.

    The minimum TTD will continue to be re-calculated each Jan. 1 based on changes to the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW).

When does TD start and stop?

    TD payments begin when your doctor says you can’t do your usual work for more than three days or you get hospitalized overnight. Payments must be made every two weeks. Generally, TD stops when you return to work, or when the doctor releases you for work, or says your injury has improved as much as it’s going to. If you were injured after Apr. 19, 2004, your TD payments won’t last more than 104 weeks within a period of 2 years from the first payment for most injuries. If you were injured after Jan. 1, 2008, your TD payments won’t last more than 104 weeks within a period of 5 years from the date of your injury. Payments for a few long-term injuries such as severe burns or chronic lung disease can go longer than 104 weeks. TD payments for these injuries can continue for up to 240 weeks of payment within a five-year period.

Are TD benefits taxable?

    No. You don’t pay federal, state or local income tax on TD benefits. Also you don’t pay Social Security, taxes, union dues or retirement fund contributions.

Can my first temporary disability payment be delayed?

    Sometimes. If the claims administrator can’t determine whether your injury is covered by workers’ compensation, he or she may delay your first TD payment while investigating. A delay is usually not longer than 90 days. If there is a delay, the claims administrator must send you a delay letter. It must explain why you won’t receive payments, what additional information the claim administrator needs and when a decision will be made. If there are further delays, the claims administrator must send you additional delay letters.

    If the claims administrator doesn’t send you a letter denying your claim within 90 days after you filed the claim form, your claim is considered accepted in most cases.

Is the claims administrator required to pay a penalty for delays in temporary disability payments?

    It depends. If you had filed the workers’ compensation claim form at least 14 days before the payment was due and the claims administrator sends a payment late, he or she must pay you an additional 10 percent of the payment on a self-assessed basis.

Why am I receiving so many letters?

    The claims administrator must keep you up to date by sending letters that explain how payments were determined, why TD will be delayed, reasons for changing TD payment amounts and why the TD benefits are ending.

My temporary disability payments stopped without explanation. What should I do?

    Talk to your employer or claims administrator. If that doesn’t help, contact your local DWC I&A officer.

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