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What should I know about California workers' compensation?

Workers in California who are injured while they are performing work duties often qualify for workers' compensation. Some people who may qualify for workers' compensation might not understand everything that they need to know about what these benefits cover and other facts about the program.

What kinds of injuries does workers' compensation cover?

Workers' compensation covers various types of injuries that occur at work. These injuries can be from a single incident, such as an accident. This might be a chemical burn, a broken bone, or any other injury. In some cases, benefits are available for repetitive motion or repeat exposure injuries. These can include hearing loss from loud noise at work or carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive wrist movements.

Can I be fired for seeking benefits?

It is against the law for your employer to fire you because you opt to seek workers' compensation benefits. You should report the injury to your employer as quickly as possible so that you can get the medical care you need as fast as possible. If you are unsure of your rights or need to fight for your benefits, you should learn about your options.

What types of benefits might be available?

Workers' compensation will cover medical care costs and partial wage replacement. Temporary disability and permanent disability are the programs through which wages you couldn't earn because of the injury would be paid. The benefits that you receive through these disability programs would be a specific portion of the wages you would have earned if you were able to work. Other benefits, including death benefits and supplemental job displacement benefits, are also available.

Source: California Division of Workers’ Compensation, "What is workers' compensation?," accessed June 19, 2016

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Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony subject to 5 years in prison or up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

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