Workers' Comp and Reduced Earning Capacity
One of the most common misconceptions people have about workers’ compensation is that injured workers cannot continue to collect benefits once they return to work. This is not true! Since many work-related injuries and illnesses can have permanent debilitating effects and limit a person’s ability to perform the duties of their previous occupation, certain workers can continue to receive permanent disability benefits once they return to work to compensate for their reduced earning capacity.
Permanent disability benefits pay a portion of the difference between what a worker used to earn before their injury and the reduced amount they are able to earn after their injury. If it is determined that you are permanently unable to return to your previous job, or that you have an impairment which will remain without improvement for at least the next year, you will be entitled to receive a weekly permanent disability benefit. The amount and length of this benefit will depend on the percentage of disability your doctor assigns to you, up to a maximum weekly amount set each year. As of 2016, the maximum amount of permanent disability benefits a worker can receive is $290 per week.
What If My Employer Will Not Take Me Back?
Unfortunately, many workers find themselves completely out of a job after being injured due to their debilitation. California offers Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit vouchers under workers’ compensation to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement to individuals who do not recover completely and do not return to their employer. For injuries occurring on or after January 1st, 2013, the voucher amount is $6,000 regardless of the worker’s permanent disability rating. Likewise, those who qualify for this benefit are often also eligible to receive $5,000 under the Return to Work Fund.
Permanently Disabled? Contact Alvandi Law Group
A workplace injury can throw a wrench in the gears of your life in a heartbeat – and it is not something you should consider dealing with alone. At Alvandi Law Group, our Orange County workers’ compensation lawyers understand what you are going through and are prepared to go the distance to ensure you receive every penny’s worth of your entitled benefits. With more than $100 million recovered, our advocates have what it takes to help you push forward with peace of mind.
We offer free consultations to all – call (800) 980-6905 to schedule yours today.