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When you have been rendered unable to work due to a workplace injury or work-related illness, you may be entitled to receive disability benefits to ease the impact of mounting medical expenses while you are not earning. Ever-growing medical bills can easily swallow a household’s finances, even without happening at the exact same time as you have taken a drop in income. However, while you may indeed be entitled to these disability benefits, they are frequently denied, delayed, or miscalculated by insurers, leaving you and your dependents facing financial hardship through no fault of your own.

Should this situation arise in your life, the silver lining is that a Santa Clarita disability benefits attorney from Koszdin, Fields, Sherry & Katz has the legal experience required to appeal the decision and to recover exactly what you deserve.

How Benefits Are Calculated

According to the state of California Employment Development Department, weekly benefit amounts are calculated using a base period. The base period covers 12 months and is furthermore divided into four consecutive quarters of three months each. Weekly benefit totals amount to about 60%-70%, depending on income, of wages that are earned every 5-18 months. This is all prior to the claim start date and reaches up to the maximum weekly benefit amount. All the wages must have been paid with SDI taxes. SDI taxes are usually noted on a paystub. Base periods do not include any wages paid at the time disability commences.

On average, most benefits payments are issued within two weeks after the state receives a completed claim whether online or by mail. By submitting a completed application and ensuring all information is correct, you are greatly assisting your cause and benefit payments are issued more quickly.

With this process, you can also select how you would like to receive your benefit payment. Simply choose to either receive payment by a debit card or a check issued to you by the state.

Up until recently, within the last year and a half or so, California’s governor signed an order to waive the one-week unpaid waiting period for all COVID-19 related disability insurance claims. All claims must have a start date of January 24, 2020 through September 30, 2021. You are eligible to collect disability insurance benefits for the first week you are out of work now. If you qualify for disability insurance payments, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving the claim.

Starting a Disability Benefits Claim

To better help victims understand the disability insurance process, once you start a claim, the base period and disability insurance weekly benefit amounts remain consistent and do not change.

This brings up the next topic of discussion- which is whether or not you are required to report disability insurance benefits for tax purposes. The short answer states that you do not have to report your benefits for tax purposes. However, should you currently be receiving unemployment insurance benefits, become unable to work because of a disability and you begin to receive disability benefits, your disability insurance benefits will be reported for tax purposes.

Once you receive benefits, you are mandated to report the following to the EDD:

  • Have returned to part-time or full-time work
  • Have recovered from disability
  • Received any wages
  • Need to report date of death for a deceased claimant

These must be reported in writing or contact the EDD immediately.

In the event you are receiving unemployment benefits and are now disabled, you may still qualify to receive disability insurance. You may not though, continue to receive unemployment benefits. This can only happen if a medical professional certifies that your disability prevents you from working can then file a disability claim. If you have any further questions, inquires, or concerns related to this matter, do not hesitate to contact or reach out to us. Our attorneys are more than happy to discuss your options.

The Various Types of Disability Benefit Available in Santa Clarita

An experienced attorney from our firm is the obvious choice when seeking legal representation for a disability benefits claim. Each of our lawyers is well-versed in this area of the law, focusing solely on workplace injuries and workers compensation benefits cases. Following a serious workplace illness or injury in Santa Clarita, the various types of disability benefits we could assist you in securing include:

Temporary Disability (TD) — If the injury keeps you off the job for more than three days, you may be eligible for temporary disability. These benefits are equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage with a maximum amount depending on the year of your injury. In general, TD benefits will continue until you return to work, your primary treating physician clears you to work, or you reach the maximum of 104 weeks, whichever comes soonest.

Permanent Disability (PD) — If a lasting injury affects your ability to earn a living, you may be eligible for permanent disability. You can collect PD benefits even if you return to work. Permanent disability benefits are based on your impairment rating, expressed as a percentage. If there is a disagreement over your impairment rating or the treatment you require, your claim may be evaluated by a qualified medical evaluator (QME) or an agreed medical evaluator (AME). Our attorneys can prepare the request for reconsideration of the summary rating and argue your case before the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. You can rest assured that we will work tirelessly to recover a positive outcome on your behalf.

Disability Settlements — Once any dispute over the disability rating you should receive is resolved, you may opt for a lump-sum settlement of the claim, subject to approval by a workers’ compensation judge. You might settle the entire claim (compromise and release) or settle the disability claim but retain the right to future medical care (stipulation with a request for an award). Our attorneys can help you decide what is in your best interests and, as such, the best option for you.

Secure the Legal Representation of an Outstanding Lawyer Now

Your claim for disability benefits, or appeal of a previous decision, could be significantly less stressful when your hire an expert attorney to handle it. To schedule your free initial consultation with our expert lawyers, call us today on 800-747-3447.