May 28, 2020
Worker’s compensation is a form of insurance for laborers who have been injured on the job. Workers’ comp provides paycheck replacement and medical expense reimbursement for an employee in exchange for them abandoning their right to sue their employer. In the state of California, workers who file a compensation claim are entitled to two-thirds of their pretax gross wages, up to the maximum allowable which was $1,215.27 per week as of 2018. Historic numbers show that workers’ comp claims are not rare. In 2016 alone there were more than 11,500 California claims filed and $443,000,000 in compensation.
Workers’ compensation has always been an important safety net for laborers who risk personal safety on the job, but according to Don Jergler of the Insurance Journal, “clearly the biggest impact on the workers’ comp system will be the economic fallout from this pandemic with unprecedented levels of unemployment”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our employment rate drastically. Currently, the national rate sits at 14.7%, which is the highest we have seen since the Depression-era. In the state of California, our rate is even higher at 16.1%.
Unemployment on this scale is sure to affect workers’ compensation. For starters, you cannot receive unemployment and workers’ compensation payouts at the same time. So if you had filed a workers’ comp claim, and were then laid off due to the pandemic, you cannot receive both sets of funds. Also, with so many companies struggling financially, workers’ compensation premiums may not be paid, which means that insurance will not be there when an injured employee needs it.
We are living in uncertain, unprecedented times. Many people are struggling to hang on to or find employment, and the future of workers’ benefits is unclear. If you are experiencing an employment issue that relates to the pandemic, remember that you can always reach out to our law firm for help and support. Para Los Trabajadores is here for you, and we will help you to figure out your benefits and your future. So call today.