From the Agent’s Desk: 7 Benefits of a California Workers Compensation Policy

Whether you’re just starting a business or you’re a seasoned business owner, one type of business insurance you must have is California Workers Compensation.  According to the California Labor Code, the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations has the authority to issue a stop order if your business is found to be uninsured with workers compensation coverage.  So, why risk it?  If you’re unsure about what’s covered in a California workers compensation policy, here are 7 benefits you should know about:

  1. Medical Care: if an employee is injured on the job, they are entitled to receive medical care to help them get better.  This includes access to physician services, hospitalization, physical therapy, chiropractic care, dental, prescription medication, lab & X-ray services or other care deemed necessary by the treating physician.
  2. First Aid Treatment: this is included under medical care coverage, however, the California Labor Code requires the physician who treats the injured employee to file a “Doctor’s First Report of Injury” with the claims administrator, even in cases where time off from work is not necessary.
  3. Temporary Disability: this occurs when an employee cannot return to work within 3 days after he/she is injured.  This is a temporary benefit, put in place to help the injured employee with loss of wages due to injury/illness.
  4. Permanent Disability:  this occurs when the injury results in impairment, causing the employee to be disfigured or permanently disabled.  The amount of the benefit received is based on the extent of the injury/impairment and their future earning potential.  Other factors include the date of the injury, the employee’s age when injured and their occupation.  This benefit may also be subject to a maximum payable amount.
  5. Vocational Rehabilitation (for injuries before 1/1/2004): this includes rehabilitation services for workers who cannot return to their previous occupation.  It also includes development of a rehabilitation plan, cost of training and a “maintenance allowance” to help cover lost wages.  For injuries received after 1/1/2004, there are maximum amount limits for rehabilitation services.
  6. Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit (for injuries after 1/1/2004): this benefit is put in place to cover the costs for “education-related retraining and/or skill enhancement”.  Typically this benefit applies to an employee on permanent disability, who cannot return to work within 60 days after temporary disability coverage ends and who haven’t been offered an alternative or modified position with their existing employer.  This benefit is also subject to a maximum amount.
  7. Death Benefits: in the event of a work-related fatality, burial expenses (subject to a maximum amount) will be covered.  This benefit also provides temporary support for the surviving dependents.

If you still have questions about California Workers Compensation coverage, don’t hesitate!  Give us a call today – our knowledgeable staff is here to help!