Working in the agricultural industry is one of the most high-risk occupations in California. It is unfortunately possible for an agricultural worker to be fatally injured at work. In 2015, it was reported that there were 401 farmer and farm worker fatalities. This rate is shockingly high, with a rate of 19.2 fatalities for every 100,000 workers.
While fatalities on farms are a risk, injuries that result in temporary disabilities can also occur. A temporary disability is defined as a type of injury that prevents you to be able to carry out everyday functions or work tasks for an extended — but temporary — period of time.
How do temporary disabilities occur on farms?
Farm machinery accidents are one of the leading causes of serious injuries on farms in California. Becoming Entanglements in farm machinery can severely injure limbs and can result in very serious injuries or even death.
Falls can also be a high risk factor on farms. Structures can be unstable, and falls can occur, creating temporary disabilities from broken bones or back injuries.
What should I do if I have become temporarily disabled at work on a farm?
For many farm workers in the United States, workers’ compensation is available to help cover the medical costs and lost wages that can occur after an injury at work. In the state of California, all farm workers are entitled to workers’ compensation, no matter whether they are seasonal workers or undocumented workers. In addition, you may be able to get Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits for longer-lasting disabilities.
What do I need to do in order to get benefits for my temporary disability?
You need to notify your employer as soon as possible after you become injured, but you must not wait longer than 30 days. You must then be able to prove that the injury occurred when you were carrying out work-related activities. A medical practitioner will be able to assess the level of disability that you are suffering from, and when recovery can be expected.
If you have been injured while working on a California farm, it is vital that you take action as soon as possible in order to get the benefits to which you are entitled.