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Grupo MedLegal® > Blog > California > How Are Disability Payments Calculated in California?

How Are Disability Payments Calculated in California?

When you file a claim for workers’ compensation, the first thing you probably want to know is, “How much money will I get?” The answer depends on the type and seriousness of your injury or illness.

Medical costs

Your employer’s insurance company is responsible to pay all reasonable medical expenses. If your injury or illness requires medical care, your employer must cover the costs.

Benefits of temporary disability

Generally, temporary disability benefits amount to two-thirds of the gross wages (before taxes) you lose while you’re recovering from a work injury. However, you can’t receive more than a maximum weekly amount or less than a minimum weekly amount, as set by law. You don’t pay federal taxes (or state, or local) on temporary disability benefits.

Maximum limits on temporary disability payments

You can’t receive more than the maximum weekly amount established by law. Therefore, if you earned more than a certain amount of wages before you were injured, you could receive less than two-thirds of those wages. The maximum depends on the date of your injury. For example:

  • If you were injured in 2014 and your gross wages before you were injured were more than $1,611.96 per week, your disability payments will be a maximum of $1,074.64 per week.

Minimum temporary disability payments for low-income workers

You can’t receive less than a minimum weekly amount set by law. Therefore, if you earned less than a certain amount of wages before you were injured, you can receive more than two-thirds of those wages. The minimum depends on the date of the injury. For example:

  • If you were injured in 2014 and your gross wages before the injury were less than $241.79 per week, your disability payments will be a minimum of $161.19 per week.

If you cannot work at all, you will receive total temporary disability payments. These benefits replace the majority of the income you lose while you are not earning your regular wages. If you are able to work in a limited capacity, you will receive partial temporary disability payments until you are able to work full time.

Permanent disability benefits

Some injuries result in permanent damage. If this is the case, your injury will be rated according to a disability schedule. Your disability will be given an impairment percentage and this figure will be put in a formula to calculate your benefits. The higher the percentage of impairment, the more money you will receive for your injury.

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