Can You Get Both State Disability and Workers’ Comp in California?

You’re working your regular job, going about your day, when suddenly you’re injured on the job. Now you’re unable to work while you recover. What benefits can you get in this situation? Can you receive California state disability and workers’ comp? It’s a confusing process, and you may not know all your options or legal rights. Getting experienced help from a workers’ compensation attorney can make navigating the system much easier. They know the ins and outs of these types of claims and can advise you on the best steps to take. With an attorney on your side, you can focus on healing while they handle the legal complexities. Read on to learn more about how having a knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney can benefit you if you suffer an on-the-job injury in California.

Qualifying for State Disability Benefits in California

If you get hurt at work in California, workers’ comp is there to help pay for your medical care and lost wages. As an employee, workers’ comp insurance is provided by your employer at no cost to you. 

What Does Workers’ Comp Cover?

Workers’ comp covers all work-related injuries and illnesses. This includes traumatic injuries like broken bones as well as occupational diseases like carpal tunnel syndrome. It will pay for doctor visits, hospital stays, physical therapy, medications, and other necessary treatment. It also provides wage replacement benefits if you have to miss work.

Do I Have to Use My Employer’s Doctors?

No, you have the right to choose your doctor for workers’ comp treatment. However, your employer may require you to see their doctor for an initial evaluation. After that, you are free to switch to a doctor of your choosing as long as they accept workers’ comp insurance.

Can I Receive Disability and Workers’ Comp? 

In some cases, yes. If your work injury results in a permanent disability, you may be eligible for state disability benefits in addition to workers’ comp. The key is that the benefits must be for two separate conditions – your temporary work injury and your resulting long-term disability. An experienced workers’ comp lawyer can help determine if you qualify for both benefits.

Disputes and Appeals

If your workers’ comp claim is denied or you disagree with a decision, you have the right to appeal. You can start by requesting a hearing with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. It may also help to hire a workers’ comp attorney to help navigate the appeals process on your behalf. They can ensure your rights are protected and fight to overturn unjust claim denials.

Can You Collect Both Workers’ Comp and State Disability in California?

To receive state disability insurance benefits in California, you’ll need to meet certain requirements. Have paid SDI contributions

First, you must have paid into the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. This means having deductions for  SDI taken out of your paycheck. Most California workers are covered under SDI, including part-time and seasonal employees. As long as you’ve paid into the program, you can receive benefits.

Unable to work

Next, you must be unable to work due to a disability, illness, or injury. This includes conditions like surgery recovery, pregnancy, or severe illnesses like cancer or heart disease. You’ll need medical certification from your doctor stating that you cannot work for a certain period. 

Meet Base Period Requirements  

Finally, you must meet the base period requirements, meaning you earned at least $300 in wages during the 12 months before your claim or disability began. The base period is the first four of the last five completed quarters before your claim start date. 

If you meet these three requirements – having paid into SDI, being unable to work due to a medical condition, and meeting the base period criteria – you should qualify for state disability benefits in California. The amount you receive will be based on your highest quarter of earnings during your base period. With the right documentation from your doctor, you can focus on recovery knowing you have financial assistance.

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