California’s supplemental job displacement benefit voucher (SJDB) helps injured workers pay for occupational training programs and education, gaining the skills to find work in their field or another industry and career path altogether. The benefits of using a supplemental job displacement voucher revolve around being able to get new qualifications for a role that accommodates the limitations of a work-related permanent partial disability.
The SJDB voucher provides access to professional development opportunities to people who may not otherwise be able to afford them. Getting certification and training in new skills also offers great career growth potential to those with work-related disabilities.
The ultimate goal of this benefit is to empower injured workers to find new gainful employment, which can combat financial hardship and the mental health challenges related to living with a work-related injury. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you pursue the SJDB voucher and all of the benefits you qualify for.
Do I Qualify for a Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit Voucher?
Many who suffer work-related injuries and cannot return to their previous roles qualify for a supplemental job displacement voucher. You may qualify if you have:
- A disability that prevents you from working in the same position or a similar one
- A job in a field that doesn’t accommodate the limitations of your injury, such as construction
- An employer who cannot provide alternative or modified work
If your disability prevents you from working in the same role or a similar one, you may be able to use the SJDB voucher to pursue training for a different role in your field.
Your employer may be able to accommodate your disability and offer you an alternate job that:
- Lasts for at least 12 months
- Pays at least 85% of your pre-injury wages
- Has a reasonable commute
If they do and you refuse the offer, you may no longer qualify for the voucher. If your employer doesn’t offer such a job within 60 days of receiving the Physician’s Return-to-Work & Voucher Report, you could use the SJDB voucher for training and certification in a new profession. You may be able to work for the same employer in a new capacity or find a job elsewhere.
Where Can I Use My Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit Voucher?
Another key benefit of the SJDB voucher is that you can put it toward a wide variety of education and training programs, including:
- Technical and trade schools for fields like construction, mechanics, or technology
- Community colleges and universities to earn an undergraduate degree or professional certification
- Vocational training programs, like cosmetology or flight school
- Apprenticeship programs for trades like carpentry, mechanics, or plumbing
While there are many options for your supplemental job displacement voucher, it must be used at a state-approved institution or an accredited school. You can find a list of approved education and counseling providers on the CalJOBS database.
Do I Have to Use the SJDB to Work in the Same Field?
You don’t have to use the SJDB voucher to work in the same field. You could gain skills and education in a brand new field, especially if your current field lacks accommodating opportunities.
For example, if you were injured as a construction worker, you might put your voucher toward a bookkeeper’s certification. You could then combine your construction experience with your new financial skills to become a bookkeeper for a construction company or start work in another industry altogether.
You could also gain new skills in your current field that boost your qualifications and move into a role that better accommodates your injury. For example, if you were injured as a physical laborer at a warehouse, you might pursue technical training to become a logistics manager instead. This role may better accommodate your injury while keeping you in the same field.
What You Can Use Your Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit Voucher For
Another excellent benefit of the supplemental job displacement benefit voucher is that you can use it to cover many expenses related to training and education. Your voucher may cover:
- Tuition, including classes and fees
- Educational materials, like books or required tools
- Technology, like a laptop for computer-based education or to complete assignments (up to $1000)
- Vocational placement, including seeing a vocational counselor or placement agency (up to 10%)
- Certifications and licensing, including study materials and test fees
Where you can use your voucher and how much you may be able to get depends on a few factors, including the severity of your work-related injury and when it occurred. A workers’ comp attorney can answer your questions and guide you through the process.
The Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit Voucher May Qualify You for Other Benefits
Those who qualify for the SJDB voucher may also receive a one-time payment of up to $5,000 from the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). This program is known as the Return-to-Work Supplement Program (RTWSP) and aims to provide additional income to injured workers who’ve lost wages during recovery.
To qualify for this additional benefit, you must:
- Have suffered an injury on or after January 1, 2013
- Qualify for and receive the SJDB voucher
- Apply for the RTWSP within one year of the date you received your SJDB voucher
You can file your application for the RTWSP online or at a Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) district office. A workers’ compensation lawyer Los Angeles can help ensure all of your paperwork is filed properly, completely, and within the given timeframe.
A Workers’ Comp Attorney Can Help With Your SJDB Claim
A workers’ compensation lawyer from KJT Law Group can help you apply for the supplemental job displacement benefit voucher and all other workers’ compensation benefits. We can review your injury case, identify all of the California workers’ compensation benefits available to you, and file applications to help you get the financial assistance you deserve. Contact us online or call our office today at (818) 507-8525 to schedule your free consultation.