Workers’ compensation benefits are available to employees who become injured or fall ill while on the job. Each state has its own qualifications and regulations regarding this program.
If you are a California resident who has suffered an injury or illness as a result of your job, you probably have questions about the workers’ compensation program. Do you qualify for benefits, and how does the process work?
Qualifying in California
California’s workers’ compensation operates under a no-fault system. This means that, regardless of who is to blame for the illness or injury that occurred, you may receive compensation. In some states, an employer’s negligence or other actions must cause the worker’s medical problem or issue, but this is not the case for Californians. There are some exceptions to qualifying, including if you performed the duties of your job while under the influence.
Starting the process
You should seek immediate medical attention for your injury or illness, then report the incident to the appropriate point of contact, like your supervisor or a human resource officer. After you report to your employer, they have one working day to provide you with the information you will need to file a claim. This will include the claim form, as well as details about your rights and potential benefits under the program. Once you complete the claim form and your employer submits it, the insurance company has 90 days to accept or deny your claim.
Knowing your rights and how to get the process started are important first steps to receiving workers’ compensation benefits.