A Guide To Calculating Partial Disability In California Workers’ Compensation

Partial Disability | DYS Law Group

In California, workers’ compensation law provides employees with certain benefits if they are injured or become ill due to their job. One of these benefits is partial Disability, which is intended to help employees unable to return to work full-time because of their injuries.

Partial disability benefits are calculated based on the employee’s pre-injury earnings and the number of hours they can work each week. The number of partial disability benefits employees will depend on their circumstances.

If you are injured at work and cannot return to your job full-time, you may be entitled to partial disability benefits. This guide will explain how partial Disability is calculated in California workers’ compensation cases.

What is Partial Disability?  

There are two types of Disability in the California workers’ compensation system: temporary and permanent. Partial Disability is a type of permanent Disability.

Permanent partial Disability (PPD) is a type of Disability that results in the injured worker is unable to return to work in their pre-injury job but still being able to do some work. PPD is usually assessed as a percentage based on the injured worker’s wage loss and loss of earning capacity.

The first step in calculating PPD is determining the injured worker’s wage loss. Wage loss is the difference between the injured worker’s pre-injury and post-injury wages. If the injured worker cannot return to work, their wage loss will be 100%.

The next step is determining the injured worker’s loss of earning capacity. Loss of earning a degree is the difference between the amounts of money the injured worker could earn in their pre-injury job and the amount of money they can earn in a different job after their injury.

Once both wage loss and loss of earning capacity have been determined, they are added together to get the total percentage to get a fixed amount.

How is Partial Disability Calculated in California?  

You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you cannot work due to a work-related injury or illness. These benefits can help you cover your medical expenses and lost wages.

One type of benefit you may receive is partial disability benefits. These benefits are paid if you can return to work but cannot earn total wages due to your injury or illness.

In California, partial disability benefits are calculated using a formula that considers your pre-injury earnings, post-injury earnings, and the number of hours you can work per week.

The first step in calculating your disability benefits is determining your average weekly wage (AWW). Taking your total earnings from the 13 weeks before your injury and dividing it by 13 calculate your AWW.

Once your AWW has been determined, the next step is to calculate your post-injury earnings. This is the amount you earn per week after returning to work.

If you are working fewer hours than you did before your injury, your post-injury earnings will be less than your AWW. However, if you work more hours than you did before your injury, your post-injury payments will be more than your AWW.

What are the Benefits of Partial Disability?  

There are many benefits to Partial Disability, some of which may not be immediately obvious. First and foremost, Partial Disability provides income replacement for those unable to return to work in their pre-injury job or occupation.

Partial Disability also provides for medical treatment of the injured worker’s condition. This can include doctor visits, surgeries, and any necessary therapies or rehabilitation.

In addition, Partial Disability offers protection from being fired or demoted at work due to the injury. And, if the injury is severe enough that the worker cannot return to any work, Permanent Disability benefits may be available.

Disability can provide significant financial protections for injured workers in California. If you have been injured at work, speak with a qualified Workers’ Compensation attorney to learn more about your rights and options.

How to File a Disability Claim in California?

If you’ve been injured at work and cannot return to your previous job, you may be entitled to disability benefits through the California workers’ compensation system.

To file a claim for partial disability benefits, complete a Disability Evaluation Form  and submit it to your employer. Your employer will have 14 days to provide you with written notice of acceptance or denial of your claim.

If your employer accepts your claim, they will send you a Report of Occupational Injury or Illness form. This form must be completed and returned to your employer within one year of the date of injury.

Once your employer has received the DWC 2 form, they will have 28 days to provide you with a work status report. This report will indicate whether or not you can return to work and, if so, what type of work you can do.

If you cannot return to work, your employer will need to provide you with a Statement of Wages Paid form within 14 days. This form will list all the wages you earned four weeks prior.


Several factors must be considered when calculating partial Disability in California workers’ compensation cases. These include the nature of the injury, the extent of the Disability, the worker’s age, and the type of work the worker can perform. Contact DYS Law Group ( (310) 473-2355) for a free consultation if you need assistance calculating your Partial Disability.

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