Social Security Disability
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(Non Social Security, ERISA)
California Workers Compensation
Injured at work? Compensation is your basic right!

If an employee gets hurt or sick because of work, the employer is required by law to pay for workers compensation benefits. Workers compensation is the nation's oldest social insurance program. It was adopted in most states, including California, during the second decade of the 20th century. California workers compensation insurance provides six basic benefits including medical care, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits or vocational rehabilitation and death benefits.

California has one of the largest workers' compensation self insurance programs in the nation. As of July 1, 2009, a total of 7596 California employers were actively self insured. Rather than purchase insurance, these employers choose to self insure their California workers compensation liabilities to cover their employees for reasons of cost effectiveness, greater control over their claims programs and increased safety and loss control management.

The Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) monitors the administration of workers' compensation claims and provides administrative and judicial services to assist in resolving disputes that arise in connection with claims for California workers compensation benefits. DWC's mission is to minimize the adverse impact of work related injuries on California employees and employers.

The California workers compensation system is based on a trade-off between employees and employers. Employees are entitled to receive prompt, effective medical treatment for on-the-job injuries no matter who was at fault and, in return, are prevented from suing their employers over those injuries. The vast majority of California workers compensation claims are resolved without any problems. However, sometimes a disagreement can arise between the prospect and the claims administrator over issues such as whether their injury was sustained on-the-job or how much in benefits they are entitled to receive.

As a result, employers are required by law to have California workers compensation insurance, even if they have only one employee. If the employees get hurt or sick because of work, the employers are required to pay for workers' compensation benefits. In the case of a real estate broker, they are required to carry workers compensation insurance for their agents, even if they are independent contractors.

Unlike most social insurance programs, California workers compensation benefits are not administered by a government agency. They are administered primarily by insurance companies and those employers secure enough to self-insure their workers' compensation liability. When an employer becomes aware of a work-related injury or illness, it is expected to begin providing benefits to the injured worker. They are charged with expediting the delivery of workers compensation benefits and services to injured workers without unnecessary delays.

Each year California teens enter the workforce through summer jobs or part-time employment. However, many teens are unaware of their employment rights and the possible hazards that they can encounter in the workplace. In the United States 160,000 teens are injured on the job each year; 55,000 of these injuries are serious enough to require hospital treatment and 50 adolescents die from work-related injuries. The California workers compensation recognizes these dangers and is dedicated to ensuring that all teens have a healthy and positive work experience.

In addition to the traditional resources, California workers compensation has formed partnerships with key government agencies and statewide organizations representing educators, employers, parents to effectively protect young workers from being injured in the workplace. These lessons learned can benefit teens throughout their lifetime.
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