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What is the timeline for workers’ compensation claims?

On Behalf of | Nov 27, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a valuable resource available to employees injured on the job. If you have a workplace injury and cannot do your job at your full capacity, it is natural to worry about how long the compensation process will take.

In California, the timeline for these claims follows a set process aimed at providing timely assistance.

Employer notification (30 days)

When you get hurt on the job, report the incident right away. Even though you have one year to file for compensation, you have just 30 days from when the accident occurred to notify your employer.

Claim filing (5 days)

Once you report your injury, your employer has one day to provide you with a claim form. You must complete and return this form within five days.

Insurance acceptance or denial (14 days)

After you turn in the form, the employer must promptly submit it to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The insurance company then has up to 14 days to accept or deny the claim. If accepted, you can access your benefits.

Medical treatment (up to 30 days)

You have the right to receive medical treatment for your work-related injuries. Employers must authorize care within one working day after you report the injury. The claims administrator can assign a doctor for the first 30 days, after which you can see any physician you choose within a reasonable geographic area.

Payment of temporary disability benefits (14 days)

If your injury prevents you from doing your job, you may also qualify for temporary disability benefits. If your claim is accepted, you should receive the first payment within 14 days of your initial report.

Resolution or further action (time varies)

According to the state’s Department of Industrial Relations, Californians filed over 645,000 initial reports of injury in 2022. The number of claims in the system and the complexity of your case both impact how long it takes to settle your claim. Some process quickly, while others may require additional time for investigation, negotiations or dispute resolution.

As a California worker, you need to understand the timeline for filing workers’ compensation claims in the state. Being prepared provides peace of mind when you are dealing with this stressful situation.