California workers who have a work-related injury or illness may qualify for workers’ compensation. Through this program, your employer’s workers’ comp insurance policy should cover costs such as medical bills and lost wages. 

If you or a loved one has a workplace injury, get the answers to these common questions about benefits. 

Can I file a claim if my employer was not at fault?

California has no-fault laws for workers’ compensation. That means you are eligible for benefits even when negligence was not a factor in your accident or illness. 

What type of benefits can I receive?

Eligible workers can qualify for coverage that pays for medical treatments, reimbursement for mileage and travel for medical visits, temporary or permanent disability payments, and retraining and job skill benefits. 

Can I see my own doctor?

In California, you can see the medical provider of your choice for a work injury as long as you let your employer know in advance. If you have health insurance coverage, make sure you predesignate your primary care provider as your preferred workers’ compensation provider. If you do not have health insurance through your job, your company can choose a provider on your behalf. 

Can I get fired for filing a claim?

You have protection from workers’ compensation retaliation under the California Workers’ Compensation Code as well as federal laws. Your employer cannot fire you if you suffer a workplace injury or illness and seek workers’ compensation benefits. You can also claim discrimination if your employer does not rehire you when you can physically return to your job. 

Notify your employer right away if you become injured at the workplace or receive a diagnosis of a work-related injury. The sooner you start the process, the sooner you can potentially receive benefits.