Understanding Key California Workers Compensation Forms

As an employer in California, you are legally mandated to get workers’ compensation for your employees. The no-fault workers’ comp system benefits the employees as well as the employer. Employees are compensated for job-related injuries without having to prove negligence or liability on the employer’s part. And employers don’t have to worry about being taken to court by their employees.

So, what happens when a worker is actually injured on the job? Well, the first step is for the employee to inform you, the employer, of the accident. Then, as the employer, you can guide your employee on the process of filing a claim.

To initiate the claims process, you are required to complete a few key forms and submit them to your workers’ comp insurance carrier. So, what exactly are these forms?

DWC-1 Workers Compensation Claim Form

Once your worker informs you of an injury or illness at work, you should provide them with the DWC-1 so that they can file a compensation claim. This form acts as an official declaration by the employee that they have been injured on the job and need compensation to make a recovery. You can download it at the California Division of Workers’ Compensation site.

Typically, the injured employee is required to describe their injuries as they can and then return the form to the employer, who then fills the remaining part and sends it to the insurance carrier.

5020 Employers Report of Occupational Injury or Occupational Disease

In case of an employee sustains an occupational injury or illness, the employer is required to file a 5020 Employers report. This California workers’ compensation form is necessary where the employee’s injury or illness has resulted in medical treatment aside from first aid or where the injury or illness results in them missing work beyond the date of the injury or illness date.

Once notified of the occupational injury or disease, you must fill out and send the form to your carrier within five days. And if the worker unfortunately succumbs, you must report the death within 24 hours.

Wage Statement

Your carrier will also require you to fill out a wage statement form. Basically, this captures the injured employee’s wage information which the provider will use to calculate indemnity. That is, how much compensation to pay for wages not earned as a result of missing work to recover from the injuries or illness.

This form is usually necessary when the employee has missed more than seven working days and should be submitted as soon as possible, ideally within five days of notification of injury.

Accident Investigation Form

Another important workers’ compensation insurance form is the accident investigation report. This basically captures facts regarding the accident and should be filled in by the employee’s direct manager or supervisor.

Make Sure You Fill Out Each California Workers Compensation Form for a Smooth Settlement Process

Worker’s compensation is meant to protect you as well as your employees in case of job-related injury or illness. However, if you don’t understand how to go about the claim process, things can get complicated. It helps to understand all the required forms to prepare for such an eventuality.