Disability Benefits Attorney Van Nuys

A work-related accident or illness can put you in a tough spot. Your bills can stack up quickly, and even if you cannot work for a short period of time, they can soon become overwhelming. Even daily costs like food, fuel, and other necessities can leave you feeling like you are in over your head. The good news is if you have a work-related injury, you are entitled to certain disability benefits that can make a difference. They can help cover your lost wages due to your inability to work and can help meet your daily needs and bills. There are several types of WC compensation that you may be eligible to receive. Each one has specific criteria that must be met as each serves a particular purpose. Your attorney can help you determine which is suitable for you and what you should receive. Then they will help you get it.

What Types of Disability Benefits do You Qualify For?

There are three standard types of compensation available for employees who have sustained an illness or injury on the job:
  • Temporary Disability (TD) – You may qualify for TD if your work-related illness or injury keeps you from work for more than three days. The salary compensation is based on your average weekly income and pays two-thirds of that amount. The maximum amount is determined by the year that the injury occurred in. Generally speaking, once awarded TD, you will receive it until one of three events occurs:
    • You return to work.
    • Your primary care doctor clears you to return to work.
    • You reach the maximum allotted time for drawing TD, which is 104 weeks (2 years).
It is important to note here that if the employee completes their medical treatment and receives TD for the entire two years but has still not fully recovered, they may be able to apply for permanent disability.
  • Permanent Disability (PD) – If your illness or injury is extensive and impacts your ability to work, you may qualify for PD. The amount you get is based on your percentage of the degree you are disabled, which is called an impairment rating. This means that you healed, but there is still a percentage that has not recovered or has not returned to normal. You have lost that percentage of your normal function, whether physical, cognitive, or mental. You can continue to receive these benefits even if you go back to work.
  • Disability Settlements – You may qualify for a disability settlement once you receive your impairment rating. This is a lump sum that essentially “settles” your claim. It must be approved by a workers’ compensation judge. Your attorney can help you determine which of the two types of settlements is suitable for your situation:
    • Compromise and Release – The entire claim is settled, and the case is closed.
    • Stipulation with a Request for the Award – The disability portion of the claim is settled, but you will continue to retain the right to medical care in the future.
Employers will often undercalculate benefits by leaving out special or other types of payments like tips, commissions, bonuses, overtime, and wages from a second job. Your attorney will go to bat for you and make sure that you get the total amount you are entitled to receive, including any back pay that you may be owed. In some cases, an employer will outright deny the claim. If that happens, you have the right to appeal the decision. Your attorney can help you with that as well. Employers also sometimes disagree about an injured employee’s impairment rating or the medical treatment they have received, that their doctor has recommended, or that they will be receiving. The employee may be sent to an agreed medical evaluator or a qualified medical evaluator to resolve the controversy. Your attorney can help you by preparing your request to reconsider the summary rating. They can also step up for you by going before the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board on your behalf and arguing your case.

Are You Entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits as Well?

Some employees who receive compensation from Worker’s Comp also qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI. However, many people are deterred because the application process can be somewhat arduous. Around 70% of all first-time applications for SSDI are rejected. Even individuals who have a valid claim for their work injury and have received Worker’s Comp compensation are often denied the first time they apply. This issue with the system should not deter a person who is genuinely entitled to SSDI benefits. Hiring an attorney to help you navigate the application and appeal process is essential. Some people are denied SSDI several times after several appeals, and they request a hearing where they finally get approval. This is not how all cases work out, but it is essential not to get discouraged if your SSDI application is denied the first time or several times. It is part of the process. The good news is, once a person is approved for SSDI, they are often entitled to be retroactively paid from up to one year before the date of their application. So, applicants who felt like they were spinning their wheels, waiting for the lengthy review process, and receiving several denials before finally being approved, can look forward to retroactive pay. All that time spent applying was not wasted. At Hussain & Gutierrez, we help injured workers just like you get the compensation they deserve. Whether you are just beginning the application process for SSDI or gearing up for an appeal, we can help you. You have enough to worry about. Let us handle your application process and help you get the money owed to you.

What is the Time Limit to File a Van Nuys Disability Benefits Claim?

The California worker’s compensation system is complex, and it can be challenging to go through all the necessary steps to get your benefits. Filing for them follows very stringent rules and regulations with specific time frames. Mission a deadline could get the case denied. Worse, it could mean never getting any disability benefits or compensation. Under California law, an employee who sustains a work-related illness or injury must file a report with their employer within 30 days of the date of the incident or the date that a doctor diagnoses the condition, thus making the employee aware of it. California also has a one-year statute of limitations for work injury claims. This means that the claim must be filed within one year from the illness or injury that occurred. Suppose the injured employee has received benefits or medical treatment after being hurt on the job. In that case, they have five years from the date the illness or injury occurred or if the condition changes to file an application with the Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board for review.

Protect Your Rights and Hire a Van Nuys Disability Benefits Attorney Today

We understand. You’re tired. You are overwhelmed. You are likely in pain or have problems with mobility or other issues. Finding the energy to handle your claim for the compensation you are owed can seem like it’s just too big for you to handle. And you know what? You don’t have to. At Hussain & Gutierrez, we understand that you have a lot on your plate, and we’re here to help. We will handle your claim, filing, applications, appeals, etc. We will work hard to ensure you get the compensation you deserve and the care you need to get better. If you find you are disabled, we will help make sure that you and your family are taken care of. Whether you need TD, PD, SSDI, or some combination of the three, we are there for you and will see you through it. Our attorneys have the knowledge, education, and experience to represent you and ensure you get what you deserve. Call today at 888-997-3701 for your free consultation and find out how we can help you with your worker’s compensation disability claim. All it takes is one call to get started. You deserve that peace of mind. Don’t wait. Call today.