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An on the job injury that prevents a California injured worker from continuing his or her customary work duties may entitle him or her to temporary disability payments under California workers’ compensation law. California workers’ compensation law provides that temporary disability payments are two-thirds of an individual’s gross income; temporary disability payments are not taxable.

California workers’ compensation law provides a maximum and minimum payment that an injured worker may receive. The California Workers’ Compensation Institute has announced that for dates of injury on or after January 1, 2015, the maximum temporary disability rate will be increased to $1,103.29 per week, with minimum temporary disability payments rising to $165.49 per week.

With that said, not all "temporary disability" payments are created equal. For instance, certain police officers, such as Los Angeles Police Department officers and Santa Barbara Police Department officers, including other "peace officers" (as defined by California legislation) may be offered salary continuation in lieu of temporary disability. New legislation may entitle police officers to salary continuation that does not count towards temporary disability in accordance with of a bill recently passed by the California Assembly.

In other circumstances, individuals who work for the City of Los Angeles or the City of Santa Barbara (not in the capacity of a police officer or "peace officer") may be required to exhaust their sick and vacation pay before temporary disability payments are activated. In such an instance, line items may be withdrawn from the injured workers' salary continuation payments from the City of Los Angeles or City of Santa Barbara, with said dollars being used, in part, to provide benefits to the injured worker, such as an employer contribution to the healthcare plan of the injured worker, no different than if the injured worker was working full duty.

By Scott A. Schwartz

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