How Long Can I Receive Workers Comp Benefits in California?

William J. Kropach

When you’re injured, one of the biggest worries you likely have is how you will pay your bills. And if you qualify for workers compensation, you may wonder how long you can receive benefits, since these benefits will really be your “bread and butter” until you are able to work again. You may also wonder how much your payments will be, and if you will be responsible for paying tax on your benefits.

Benefit period for workers comp

The truth is that workers comp benefits don’t last forever; in California, injured workers can only receive workers compensation benefits for 104 weeks within a period of five years for most injuries. In the event of chronic lung disease, severe burn injuries, and certain other conditions and injuries, workers may be able to collect up to 240 weeks of workers comp benefits. Workers who have injuries that prevent them from returning to work can also qualify for benefits beyond the 104-week timeframe. The eligibility period begins on the date of the injury since this is the date used to determine when your payments begin once your claim is approved.

At the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach, our workers compensation lawyers know that being injured and unable to work puts you in a stressful situation. That’s why we are staunch advocates for our workers comp clients, aggressively defending their cases to help them get the benefits to which they are entitled.

How much will my payments be?

Typically, workers compensation benefits are based on 2/3 of your pre-tax wages. For example, if you normally make $900 per week prior to take, then your workers comp benefits will likely be $600 per week. Beyond a cash payment each week, workers compensation also provides medical benefits, including the cost of transportation to get care and the cost of filling prescriptions or undergoing physical therapy.

Are my workers compensation benefits taxable?

In general, no, although there are a few exceptions. For the majority of recipients, benefits received under workers compensation are exempt from tax, since workers comp is essentially a tax-funded service for the worker. Workers compensation benefits come without any withholding tax skimmed off the top, and you do not have to pay tax on these benefits when you file your tax return. This is not the case, however, if you also receive Social Security benefits, including Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Some people who receive these benefits along with workers compensation benefits may owe tax on their benefits. Always speak with your tax accountant to determine if your benefits are taxable.

We’re here for you

If you have filed a workers comp claim and it is pending or denied, don’t lose faith. You have an experienced and knowledgeable advocate by your side to help ensure that your claim gets the full attention it deserves. Call us at 818-600-4714 or click here to set up your free consultation with our Los Angeles workers compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach today.

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