California’s workers’ compensation program offers different types of benefits depending on the details of your situation. The type of benefits you qualify for may depend on your classification, the type of injury you suffered, the cost of related expenses, and whether or not you are able to return to the job once you are healed.

In California, workers’ compensation benefit types include:

Medical Care

Medical care benefits cover the costs associated with treating a work-related injury or illness. California Labor Code (section 4600) provides the medical care benefits include nursing care, medications, medical or surgical supplies, crutches or assistive aids, orthotic or prosthetic devices, and services. There is no time limit or value limit to medical care benefits, though there may be some restrictions depending on the injury.

Temporary Disability

Temporary disability benefits compensate you for a portion of wages you have lost due to missing work because of your work-related injury or illness. Generally, temporary disability payments are around two-thirds of your average weekly wage. These benefits are considered a replacement for your salary while you are recovering, and are not reimbursable.

Permanent Disability

If your work-related injury has resulted in your being unable to return to work, you may be entitled to permanent disability benefits. In legal terms, this may mean that you have “lost earning capacity”. Permanent disability benefits are compensation for long-term effects of your injury, including lost earning capacity and medical expenses.

Job Displacement

If you are unable to return to your job after a work-related injury, you may be entitled to job displacement benefits. This benefit consists of a $6,000 voucher that you can use to obtain education for training for a different job. If you have multiple injuries, you may be entitled to multiple vouchers.

Death Benefits

If you are the spouse of someone who died in a work-related accident, then you may qualify for death benefits under California’s workers’ compensation laws. Death benefits provide compensation to surviving families who were financially dependent on the individual who died. Families may be eligible for up to $320,000 depending on the number of dependents. Disabled children can receive permanent benefits. Death benefits may also include coverage for funeral or burial expenses.


Workers who have been injured, but have also been discriminated against may be eligible for additional benefits up to $10,000. California Labor Code (section 132a) requires prohibits employers from discriminating against workers who have been injured or disabled.

Getting Help with Workers’ Compensation Claims

The best way to determine which type of benefits you qualify for is to contact a California workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your case. Every situation is different, and you deserve to be properly compensated after being injured on the job.