FAQs – Workers’ Compensation

What is the difference between Workers’ Compensation benefits and Disability Insurance (DI) benefits?
The State Disability Insurance (SDI) program pays a weekly benefit when an injury or illness is NOT caused by or related to your work. SDI benefits are paid for a temporary period of time only. Workers’ Compensation helps workers when their injury or illness is work-related. Workers’ Compensation may also pay medical bills, benefits for temporary or permanent disabilities, and retraining benefits.

I was hurt at work. Can I still file for DI?
You can file a DI claim, but usually you cannot be paid both Workers’ Compensation and DI benefits for the same period of time except in limited situations. For example, we may pay interim benefits if your employer or your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier denies or delays Workers’ Compensation payment, or we may also pay the difference in rates if your Workers’ Compensation benefits are less than your DI benefits. If DI does pay you benefits while your Workers’ Compensation case is pending, we will file a lien to recover those benefits when you resolve your Workers’ Compensation case.

I am not sure if I should pursue this as a work-related disability. Who can I talk to?
Your physician/practitioner may be able to help you determine if the cause of your disability is work-related. If you believe you have suffered a work-related disability, you must report it to your employer and have your physician/practitioner submit a medical report to your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company.

I was told to file an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB). What is it, and what does it do?
If you, your employer, or your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier disagrees over issues regarding your Workers’ Compensation claim and you wish to appeal that disagreement, contact the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, the California state agency through which you file your appeal. A judge from the WCAB will hear both your side and your employer’s side of the issue and make a determination regarding your case. The information and Assistance Officer at the WCAB can provide more information about the Workers’ Compensation appeal process and your right to file an appeal.

I am receiving rehabilitation benefits (or maintenance allowance). Can I still get DI benefits?
If you are receiving Temporary Disability, Vocational Rehabilitation Temporary Disability, or Maintenance Allowance from your employer’s Workers’ Compensation carrier, you generally cannot receive DI benefits. However, if your Workers’ Compensation benefits are less than your DI benefits, you may be able to receive the difference between the two rates. Contact SDI for further information.

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