After an Injury, When Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Start?

 Workers' Compensation Benefits Timeline.

When you suffer a workplace accident, the financial stress begins almost immediately. If your injury is severe, you’ll need to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Even those with relatively minor traumas, like deep cuts or burns, should visit the emergency room or doctor right away for diagnosis and treatment. The medical bills only increase from there, with follow-up visits to your physician, prescription medications, x-rays, and rehabilitation. Of course, you’ll also have to take time off work to recover, which means you won’t get paid your normal salary. 

The Timeline of Workers' Compensation

At this point, getting better should be your number one priority. But with the stress of not knowing how you’ll come up with money to cover your medical expenses, let alone pay bills and provide for your family while you’re off work, money is likely the biggest thing on your mind. Fortunately, eligible employees can file for workers’ compensation to cover many, if not all of the costs associated with regaining their health. Knowing that help is on the way certainly eases an injured worker’s financial fears, but how long will it take before the benefits actually kick in?

At the Law Offices of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, we get this question a lot. With over 45 years of collective experience representing injured employees, we have a deep understanding of the workers’ compensation system that allows us to move your case forward so you can get the benefits you need quickly.  

When do workers’ compensation benefits start?

In nearly every case, you’ll need to visit the doctor for treatment while waiting for a decision on your workers’ compensation claim. The good news is that some of your benefits are available immediately. In California, an employer’s insurance company is required to authorize medical care up to $10,000 within one working day from when you file paperwork. This means you have funds available right away to cover your initial doctor visits.

Once your workers’ compensation claim is formally accepted, the rest of your benefits will kick in. If you receive a letter stating your claim was denied, you have a right to file an appeal. However, note that you will not receive temporary or permanent disability benefits, also known as time loss compensation until you win your appeal.

Even if your claim is approved, you won’t start receiving checks right away. First, your doctor has to submit a form verifying that you are physically or mentally unable to work. Only then will you be eligible to collect wages lost while you’re out of work recovering from your injury. Generally, disability payments stop when your doctor establishes that your injury has reached “maximum medical improvement” and releases you to return to work. 

Are you Still Waiting for Your Workers' Compensation Benefits?

When you are injured on the job and file for workers’ compensation, you are entitled to receive up to $10,000 to cover medical expenses while you await formal acceptance of your claim. If you have filed a claim and are still waiting for the claims administrator to authorize treatment, or if you believe you are not receiving the full benefits to which you’re entitled, please contact us.

At the Law Offices of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, we’re passionate about helping injured workers receive the benefits they deserve, precisely when they need them. Give us a call to set up your free initial consultation. Our workers’ compensation attorneys would be honored to help grant you the financial freedom you need to make a full recovery. 

If you'd like to speak with an Attorney, give us a call at (619) 528-9800.