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Every month, a reader asks one of our sponsor legal experts about a work-related issue. These building trades law professionals respond in an Organized Labor exclusive. This month's expert is Zachariah Hansen of the Arns Law Firm. Ask Zachariah a question at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Visit The Arns Law Firm website.

I just got hurt, and workers’ comp is not sending me any money benefits, but is paying my medical bills. What’s going on?

The early days of a workers’ compensation case can be confusing for an injured worker. If you are new to the system, the rules and lingo can be overwhelming, and most insurance company adjusters are not interested in spending time educating the injured worker.

It is important to understand that the insurance company has 90-days to investigate any workers’ compensation claim. During these 90-days, the law requires the carrier to pay for reasonably necessary medical care, but does not require them to provide temporary disability payments. By the 90th day will issue a letter officially saying whether the claim is accepted or denied. 

So what do you do in the mean time? The answer is State Disability Insurance (“SDI”) run by the Employment Development Department (“EDD”). SDI is for workers who are unable to work because of an injury or disability, and are also not receiving benefits from workers’ compensation. Similar to unemployment benefits, SDI operates on a paid-in basis, so you have to have been working recently in order to qualify. 

If you have been injured on the job and missing time, and the workers’ compensation insurance company does not immediately tell you that disability benefits will be coming, immediately apply for SDI either online or at your local EDD office. This is the safest way to protect you and your family from going without income while you heal up from your injury. Once your workers’ compensation claim is accepted, the insurance company will typically be required to reimburse SDI/EDD for benefits paid.

Any time you have suffered an injury on the job, it is important to also contact an attorney for advice as soon as possible to determine your rights under workers’ compensation and personal injury law.  


-Zachariah Hansen, The Arns Law Firm, San Francisco, CA
Ask Zachariah a question at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information on work-site accidents and
your legal options, visit the ARNS Website.

"Interaction via "Ask the Expert" does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Any advice given is neither legal advice nor does it serve as a replacement for hiring an attorney. In addition, any case results mentioned or discussed are not guarantees of similar results."


Zachariah Hansen

This Month's Expert; Zachariah Hansen

Zachariah Hansen has proven himself as an indefatigable litigator who has obtained outstanding results for the clients of The Arns Law Firm. Zach was actually a student in Bob Arns’ trial practice class at the University of San Francisco Law School for 3rd year law students. After the class was completed, Bob was so impressed with Zach’s ability, great heart for the cause, and calm demeanor in the heat of battle, he offered Zach a job. Zach has been dedicating his legal career to helping people who have been injured obtain the compensation they deserve.

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