Temporary disability benefits are payments that an injured worker may be entitled to as wage-replacement income during a period of time that a work-related injury or illness prevents the worker from working his/her normal job.
Under Executive Order N-62-20, signed by Governor Newsom on May 6, 2020, if specific conditions are met, injuries and death arising from COVID-19 and related complications are presumed to be work-related for the purposes of awarding workers’ compensation benefits. If this presumption applies, a worker may qualify for temporary disability benefits under either of the following conditions:
(a) If the employee tests positive or is diagnosed with COVID-19 on or after May 6, 2020, the employee must be certified for temporary disability within the first 15 days after the initial diagnosis, and must be recertified for temporary disability every 15 days thereafter, for the first 45 days following diagnosis; or
(b)If the employee tested positive or was diagnosed before May 6, 2020, the employee must obtain a certification by May 21, 2020, documenting the period for which the employee was temporarily disabled and unable to work, and must be recertified for temporary disability every 15 days thereafter, for the first 45 days following diagnosis.
All employees must be certified for temporary disability by a physician holding a physician and surgeon license issued by the California Medical Board. The certifying physician can be a designated workers’ compensation physician in an applicable Medical Provider Network or Health Care Organization, a predesignated workers’ compensation physician, or a physician in the employee’s group health plan. If the employee does not have a designated workers’ compensation physician or group health plan, the employee should be certified by a physician of the employee’s choosing who holds a physician and surgeon license. Other conditions also apply.
Please contact our office for a free consultation if you have missed work as a result of COVID-19 and want to see if you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.