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How Much Is My Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?


Workers’ compensation exists to help individuals who suffer on-the-job injuries make up their lost wages while they are unable to work. California workers’ compensation law denotes how much an employee can recover, as well as the types of benefits they are entitled to receive.

If you were injured at work or while carrying out duties covered in the scope of your employment, you are likely wondering how much your workers’ compensation claim is worth—and for good reason. Taking time off work to receive treatment and recover from your injuries can leave you facing significant financial challenges, including continuing to support yourself and your family while also dealing with significant medical expenses.

While it is not possible to say exactly how much you will be able to recover through workers’ compensation without first looking at the specific details of your case, there are certain guidelines you can follow that can provide you with a clearer outline of what to expect. Read on to learn more!

Calculating Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Once you have determined that you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you can determine which type of benefits you are entitled to receive.

In California, the different types of workers’ compensation benefits are as follows:

  • Medical Benefits: Workers’ compensation should pay for all of your medical treatment related to your on-the-job injury, including medication, hospital stays, and more.
  • Disability Benefits: If your injury prevents you from working temporarily or permanently, you can receive wage replacement benefits through workers’ compensation.
  • Death Benefits: When a loved one dies in a work-related accident or due to on-the-job injuries, surviving family members/dependents can recover death benefits.

Types of Workers’ Compensation Disability Benefits

Disability benefits, also commonly referred to as “wage replacement” benefits, are further broken down based on the effects of the injury.

California workers’ compensation provides the following types of disability benefits:

  • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): If your doctor determines that you are able to work at a lesser capacity than prior to your injury, you can recover TPD benefits. In California, you can recover two thirds of your gross (pre-tax) wages up to the maximum allowable rate. As of January 1, 2020, the maximum allowable rate is $1,299.43/week, while the minimum rate is $194.91.
  • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): If your doctor determines that you have a permanent disability, he or she will provide a “disability rating” between 0 and 100%. If your doctor does not believe you can return to work in any capacity, you will receive a 100% disability rating; anything less than this means you are “partially” disabled. The disability rating is known as the “whole person impairment.” This is then used, along with other factors, to calculate your workers’ compensation benefits.
  • Total Permanent Disability (TPD): If your doctor gives you a whole person impairment rating of 100%, you may recover TPD benefits. These benefits are rare and are intended to compensate you for lost wages/income due to a complete inability to return to any form of employment.

Calculating how much your worker’s compensation claim is worth will require that you first determine which type (or types) of benefit you are entitled to recover, your disability rating, and other important factors, such as your age, the location of your injury, your ability to work, and more.

For more information, or to request a free consultation with an attorney at our firm, contact the Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley today.