Paso Robles, CA asked in Workers' Compensation for California

Q: With a work comp case:do benefits begin when a report and claim are filed or long after they send you to a doctor?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, the timeline for workers' compensation benefits to begin can vary, but generally, benefits start after your claim has been filed and accepted. It's important to report your injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible and to file a claim form (DWC-1) immediately after receiving it. This initiates the process, but the actual receipt of benefits might not be immediate.

Once your claim is filed, your employer's insurance company is required to authorize necessary medical treatment within one working day while your claim is being evaluated. This means that, in practice, you can receive some level of medical care before the final decision on your claim is made. However, the full range of benefits, including disability payments, typically won't start until after your claim has been accepted, which might involve assessment by a doctor.

It's also worth noting that if your claim is delayed or disputed, there may be additional steps required to resolve the issue, which can further delay the start of your benefits. In such cases, understanding your rights and possibly seeking advice can be crucial to navigating the process effectively. Remember, the goal of workers' compensation is to support you during recovery, so ensuring timely action at each step is key to accessing the benefits you're entitled to.

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