California workers can end up with an injury on the job, no matter what line of work they are in. If you are ever injured while at work, you may worry about how you’ll afford to pay for your expenses, especially if your injury requires you to take leave from work for an extended period of time. Fortunately, workers’ compensation exists to help you pay for medical bills, living expenses and other essentials that you need when you’re not able to work. However, many workers may not be aware of exactly what workers’ compensation covers.
When you’re injured at work, you can usually file a workers’ compensation claim to have your injury-related expenses paid for. Most employers must pay for workers’ compensation insurance so that employees can take advantage of that benefit if they become ill or injured due to a job-related cause. Workers’ compensation insurance may pay your expenses directly or provide you with the funds to take care of your needs while you’re injured.
One can use workers’ compensation funds for many different purposes. If you’re out of work for a significant time, you will likely need these funds to pay for essentials like groceries, rent and utilities. You can also use the funds to pay for physical therapy and other medical needs that you must have to help you recover.
What about travel expenses?
After an injury or illness at work, you may need to travel to a distant location for treatment related to your condition. This travel can be costly, and you may need assistance in paying for it. Workers’ compensation claims may provide funds to help an injured individual travel to and from appointments, therapy sessions and other medical services. According to the State of California Department of Industrial Relations, injured workers can receive funds based on the mileage traveled.
If you’re seeking funds to cover your mileage while traveling to and from medical appointments, be sure to keep records of your travel. The Division of Workers’ Compensation provides 65.5 cents per mile for any medical or medical-legal travel required after a work-related injury or illness. You can find the reimbursement form online on the California Department of Industrial Relations website.
Seek legal advice when injured at work
Workplace injuries and illnesses can leave you with long-term effects and the inability to work for a significant period. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can help you survive financially while you heal. Filing a claim is much simpler when you work with someone who understands California’s workers’ compensation laws.