Public safety officers are only entitled to 104 weeks of temporary disability and not an additional year of 4850 time

This is a published decision of the appellate court
This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.

The applicant suffered a compensable injury to his knee while working as a Deputy Sheriff. The applicant collected 4850 for one year after the injury. The applicant then collected “regular” temporary disability (TD) benefits for another year. The county then ceased to pay temporary disability benefits even though doctors still had the applicant temporarily disabled.

At a hearing the Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) gave the applicant 4850 time plus two years of TD. The defendant filed a Petition For Reconsideration and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) denied the petition.

The appellate court reviewed the legislation and case law. The term they looked at was “aggregate temporary disability”. The court determined that the legislature expressed its intent in Labor Code section 4656 (c) (2) that 4850 time must count toward the 104 week limit of collecting temporary disability.

There was a compelling policy argument that this will save public entities tens of millions of dollars per year.

Case: County of Alameda v. WCAB (Knittel)

Harvey Brown
3501 Jamboree Rd. Suite 602
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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