If you work in California, it is important that you understand the rights you have under the law. These rights include what should happen if you are ever involved in an accident while you are working or if you are diagnosed with a work-related illness. Under the state’s workers’ compensation program, you may be entitled to certain benefits in these situations.

If you discover an illness or experience an injury connected to your employment, you should inform your employer as soon as possible. If you wait more than 30 days from the date you learned about a situation or from an accident date, you may lose your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Within one day of being notified of the situation, your employer is required to provide you with a DWC 1 form. You must complete this form and return it to your employer. This begins the review of your workers’ compensation claim.

While your claim is under review, you may receive up to $10,000 in medical care coverage. If you do not receive word of an acceptance or a denial of your claim within 90 days of submittal, your injury or illness may be presumed to be work-related and therefore entitle you to workers’ compensation benefits. 

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to residents employed in California an overview of what should happen if they are ever injured while at work or discover that they have an illness related to a job environment or situation.