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FA R M   L A B O R   I N F O R M AT I O N   B U L L E T I N

Voice of the Fields California

June 25, 2011

FREE

Volume 21, Number 6

Social Security Disability Benefits

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hile no one ever wants to think about becoming disabled, the probability of it happening to you is higher than you may think. According to the SocialSecurity.gov website, studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a 30 percent chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age. The Federal Government pays disability benefits through both the disability insurance program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

Social Security Disability Insurance Program The disability insurance program pays benefits to people who cannot work because they have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. Federal law requires this very strict definition of disability. The

program does not give benefits for partial or short-term disability. Certain family members of disabled workers also can receive benefits from the program. To get more information about the social security disability insurance program, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ pubs/10029.html#part2 or call (800) 772-1213.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program The Social Security Administration manages the SSI program, which makes payments to people who fall into one of three categories; people who are low income and are 65 year of age or older; are blind; or, have a disability.

The SSI depends on your income and resources. The SSI program considers income to be money you receive such as wages, Social Security benefits and pensions. Income also includes such things as food and shelter. If you are married, the program also includes part of your spouse’s income and resources when deciding whether you qualify for SSI. If you are younger than age 18, it could also include part of your parents’ income and resources. And, if you are a sponsored noncitizen, it may include your sponsor’s income and resources in determining your eligibility. Resources considered when determining benefits include real estate, bank accounts, cash, stocks and bonds. To get supplemental security income, you must live in the U.S. or the Northern Mariana Islands and be a U.S. citizen or national. In some cases, noncitizen residents can qualify for supplemental security income (SSI). To get more information about the SSI program, visit www.socialsecurity. gov/pubs/11000.html or call (800)772-1213. You can also apply for benefits online at www.socialsecurity.gov. .


Workers Compensation

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f you get hurt while at work, or sick due to working conditions, your employer is required by law to pay you workers’ compensation benefits. Injuries that occur at work can happen from a single event or accident such as a fall, or from a constant action over time—like injuries to your back or wrist from continued, repeated movements or even losing your hearing due to constant loud noise. You are also entitled to workers’ compensation if you are injured in a car accident while performing work duties, such as making deliveries for your employer. The workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system, which means that the injured party does not need to prove that their injury was someone else’s fault in order to receive benefits. The system is set up as a trade-

off between both employees and employers, which provides employees with prompt, effective medical treatment for on-the-job injuries no matter who was at fault. In return, employees are prevented from suing their employers over those injuries. Most of the time, workers’ compensation claims are resolved with little or no problems for either part. However, there may be a disagreement between the injured party and the claims administrator over how the injury was sustained or how much in benefits the injured party is entitled to. If this happens to you, the Department of Workers’ Compensation Information and Assistance can help you. To find an office close to you, please visit www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/IandA.html or call (800) 736-7401.

What should I do if I get injured at work? If you get injured at work, the first thing to do is report the injury to your supervisor immediately. If your injury developed over time, you should still report the injury as soon as you become aware that it was caused by your job. Reporting your injury immediately helps prevent problems down the road or delays in receiving your benefits. If it is an emergency, get treatment immediately and tell the health care provider that treats your injury that it was job-related. You will also need to fill out a workers’ compensation DWC form 1, which should be provided by your employer within one working day of your injury. If your employer does not provide you with the form, one can be downloaded from the Department of Industrial Relations website at www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/forms. html. To get more information on workers’ compensation benefits, visit the Department of Industrial Relations website at www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/ InjuredWorker.htm or call (800) 736-7401. To locate Workers’ Compensation Division office close to you, visit www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/dir2.htm.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits According to the Department of Industrial Relations, workers’ compensation provides the following six benefits: n  Medical care: Paid for by your employer to help you recover from an injury or illness caused by work. n  Temporary disability benefits: Payments if you lose wages because your injury prevents you from doing your usual job while recovering. n  Permanent disability benefits: Payments if you don’t recover completely. n  Supplemental job displacement benefits (if your date of injury is in 2004 or later): Vouchers to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement if you don’t recover completely and don’t return to work for your employer. n  Vocational rehabilitation (if your date of injury is before 2004): Job placement counseling and possibly retraining if you are unable to return to your old job and your employer doesn’t offer other work. n  Death benefits: Payments to your spouse, children or other dependents if you die from a job injury or illness.


Unemployment Insurance Benefits

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here are many instances in which a person may find himself or herself unemployed. Due to the seasonal nature of the agriculture industry, workers in this field may need unemployment insurance benefits while they are inbetween jobs or while transitioning into another industry. The Unemployment Insurance Program, also known as UI, provides workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, with weekly unemployment insurance payments. The UI program is funded by employers who pay taxes on wages

paid to employees. The UI program pays benefits to individuals to help pay for necessities such as food, shelter and clothing. The benefits are calculated using wages an individual has earned over a 12-month period. The minimum weekly UI benefit is $40 and the maximum weekly benefit is $450. The Employment Development Department provides a complete overview of the UI Program and a video guide to benefits and how to apply for unemployment services online in both English and Spanish at www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/.

Eligibility Requirements The Employment Development Department (EDD) has posted the following eligibility requirements on their website (www.edd. ca.gov). Individuals must: n  Have received enough wages during the base period to establish a claim n  Be totally or partially unemployed n  Be unemployed through no fault of his/her own n  Be physically able to work n  Be available for work which means to be ready and willing to immediately accept work n  Be actively looking for work n  Meet eligibility requirements each week benefits are claimed n  Be approved for training before training benefits can be paid

How to file a claim

You can file an unemployment claim online, via mail or by fax. Unemployment benefit forms are available on the EDD website at www.edd.ca.gov. You can also get information in both English and Spanish at (866) 333-4606.


List of Helpful Phone Numbers Unemployment Insurance: English: 1-800-300-5616 Seguro de Desempleo: En Español 1-800-326-8937 Disability Insurance: English: 1-800-480-3287 Seguro de Incapacidad Estatal: En Español: 1-866-924-9757 Paid Family Leave: English 1-877-238-4373 Programa Familiar Pagado: En Español: 1-877-379-3819 U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de Estados Unidos National Customer Service Center (NCSC): English/En Español Hotline: 1-800-375-5283 1-800-767-1833 (TDD for the hearing impaired)

United States Social Security Administration Administracion del Seguro Social English/En Español Hotline: 1-800-772-1213 If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call our toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday National Domestic Violence Hotline Línea Nacional Sobre la Violación Doméstica English/En Español Hotline: 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224. Help is available 24 a day, 365 days a year. CalFresh Program: (877) 847-3663

Radio Bilingüe with Alma Martinez

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his month marks the last Radio Bilingüe program with reporter Alma Martinez and La Cooperativa’s Voice of the Fields editor Marco Lizarraga. Information about this month’s program is below: June 30, 2011 (10:00 a.m.) Learn about el Instituto del Mexicano en el Extranjero The program is broadcast on Radio Bilingüe, a non-profit radio network with Latino control and leadership. To find a station near you, visit www. radiobilingue.org. You can also access past programs online!

U.S. Department of Labor (866) 4-USA-DOL

Voice of the Fields California Circulation: 40,000 copies

www.LaCooperativa.org Published monthly by: La Cooperativa Campesina de California 7801 Folsom Blvd, Suite 365, Sacramento, CA 95826 Phone 916.388.2220 • Fax 916.388.2425

Editor: Marco Lizarraga Produced with the support of the Employment Development Department Voice of the Fields may be reproduced

Voice june 2011  
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