An Overview Of Workers’ Compensation
If you get hurt at work a lot of questions go through your mind. How do I get medical treatment? Who is going to pay for it? How am I going to provide for my family? What can I expect if my injury is serious and prevents me from returning to my job?
The Workers’ Compensation process is not necessarily simple and it is also influenced by a number of City policies and Memorandums of Understanding that your bargaining unit has negotiated. You can easily become confused and frustrated if you are unfamiliar with this process. Our goal is to minimize confusion and frustration and to assist you in recovering from your injury. What follows is a brief discussion of some of the basics of Workers’ Compensation. At the end are links to Fact Sheets, published by the California Division of Workers’ Compensation, that will answer many questions that you may have about specific benefits and procedures that are part of the Workers’ Compensation system in California. If you have specific question or concerns about your claim you can contact any of the following resources for assistance in getting answers and help:
American All Risk Loss Administrators (AARLA) (271-3516)
AARLA is the City’s Workers’ Compensation administrator. The adjusters at AARLA are all State certified and can assist you in obtaining information regarding your claim. If you are represented by an attorney, please be aware that your adjuster may not be able to discuss your claim without your attorney’s permission.Risk Management (621-6903)
Our Workers’ Compensation Liaison is here to help you get answers to your questions and resolve problems that may arise while you recover from an injury. As with your adjuster, if you are represented by an attorney, the Liaison may not be able to discuss your claim without your attorney’s permission.Your Bargaining Unit Representative
If you wish to involve your bargaining unit representative in this process, you are certainly welcome to do so. In many instances however, these discussions involve medical issues which are confidential and this information will not be shared with other individuals without your written consent. What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault, benefit delivery system which compensates employees who are injured at work. All employers with employees in California are required to provide Workers’ Compensation coverage. The City of Fresno is “self-insured” which means that it does not purchase an insurance policy for Workers’ Compensation coverage. The City pays benefits directly to injured employees, medical providers and others who may provide various services to an injured employee or the employer. The City hires a “third party administrator” (AARLA) to ensure that all benefits that are required by law are provided in a timely manner and to handle all the paperwork.
Workers’ Compensation benefits are defined as (1) medical care reasonably needed to cure, or relieve the effects of, a work-related injury or illness; (2) compensation for lost time from work due an injury or illness (“Temporary Disability”); (3) compensation for lost earning ability as a result of permanent residual effects of an injury or illness(“Permanent Disability”); and (4) assistance in returning to gainful employment in the event that the permanent residual effects are so great as to prevent an injured employee from returning to their regular job, a modified job or a different job with the City.
The following Fact Sheets answer many questions about specific benefits and procedures that may apply to you if you get hurt at work. Additional Fact Sheets are under development and will be added in the future. Your input will help us to expand and refine this page, so please call your adjuster or the Risk Liaison whenever you have questions suggestions or need help with a problem.