If you were injured at work and suffered a permanent partial disability, you could receive compensation to cover new job training or a career change. Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits (SJDB) in workers’ compensation provide those eligible with a voucher to receive training, resumé help, and even computer equipment. However, make sure to check the requirements and deadlines for receiving these benefits. A workers’ compensation lawyer can also help determine your eligibility.
Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit Vouchers
According to the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), benefits for injured workers are provided by a claims administrator. They send a voucher that is used to pay for classes, training, or other forms of education.
This voucher is only valid at schools that are either:
The DIR provides resources to find training providers. Additionally, your claims administrator as well as an attorney can help you navigate how to take advantage of job training resources.
The Dollar Amount of the Voucher
If you were injured in 2013 or later, the voucher provides as much as $6,000 to put toward training for a new job. Of that $6,000, you can use:
- Up to $600 for assistance in finding a position
- Up to $1,000 for computer equipment
- Up to $500 for various expenses without requiring documentation
For example, if you need help preparing a resumé for your new career field, you can use some of the voucher to pay for counseling and preparation services.
If you suffered a workplace injury between 2004 and 2012, the amount you receive is based on the level of disability you suffered, ranging from $4,000 to $10,000. A workers’ compensation judge in your case determines your disability rating.
Types of Benefits You Can Receive With the Voucher
Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits in workers’ compensation can provide help paying for:
- Tuition and fees
- Books and supplies
- Career counseling
- Job placement
- Exam tutoring and prep
Who Is Eligible for Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits?
You can receive a voucher if:
- Your injury took place on or after January 1, 2004
- You suffered a permanent partial disability
- Your employer did not offer you other work
For example, if your back injury leaves you unable to stand for long periods, you are eligible for the voucher if your employer does not offer you another position that doesn’t require standing.
If you can transition into an alternate position or modify your current job, you will not receive Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits—after all, in that scenario, you are not experiencing job displacement. The same is true if you were offered other work by your employer but rejected it. Only if your employer does not have an alternative or modified job can you pursue SJDB.
Workers’ Compensation SJDB Dates and Deadlines to Keep in Mind
According to the DIR’s Guidebook for Injured Workers, your benefits could follow this timeframe:
- How long your employer has to offer you the same or a modified position after you’re cleared to return to work: 60 days
- The amount of time after that when you can receive your voucher: 20 days
- The deadline for using the voucher, dated either from when the voucher was provided or from when you were injured, whichever is later: two to five years
If You Were Injured Sometime Between 2004 and 2012
If you suffered your accident in this window, the dates and deadlines are slightly different. You can receive benefits according to the following timeline:
- How long your employer has to offer you plans for work after your last temporary disability payment: 30 days
- The required amount of time you are unable to return to work after that final temporary disability payment in order to qualify for the voucher: 60 days
- When you can receive your voucher after a workers’ compensation judge deems you permanently disabled: 25 days
How Does SJDB Fit in With Other Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Generally, workers’ compensation programs provide benefits for:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
While every injured worker can receive some compensation in those areas, only qualifying individuals can receive additional help like SJDB.
Although SJDB are typically initiated by your claims administrator or are part of a settlement, don’t hesitate to check on your eligibility. In fact, you can talk with the administrator or a workers’ compensation lawyer Los Angeles about all possible supplemental benefits.
Return-to-Work Supplement Program (RTWSP)
One additional benefit you could qualify for is the Return-to-Work Supplement Program. Receiving an SJDB voucher is one of the requirements for the program, along with an injury on or after January 1, 2013 and a timely application submitted within a year of receiving your voucher.
RTWSP benefits provide a one-time payment of $5,000 to workers who experienced income losses due to their workplace injuries. This is in addition to what you receive with the SJDB voucher.
How a Lawyer Can Assist With Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits
Workers’ compensation allows injured employees to receive certain benefits without pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. Nonetheless, you can still consult an attorney after a workplace accident, as they can help with other aspects of your claim, such as:
- Compiling documentation, evidence, and records to support your claim
- Determining your eligibility for SJDB as well as other programs like RTWSP
- Guiding you through the process of pursuing all benefits related to your injury
- Assisting you in filling out paperwork and submitting itbefore deadlines
- Representing you in any matters or disputes related to your benefits
- Explaining and standing up for your rights as an injured worker
In cases involving SJDB, a lawyer can represent you in any disagreements with the claims administrator. They can help you appeal if you suspect you were rejected unfairly for certain benefits.
KJT Law Group Offers Support in Workers’ Compensation Claims
Obtaining benefits—including Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits—in workers’ compensation cases can take time. If you were injured at work and are struggling to receive compensation for injuries, income losses, or job displacement, contact KJT Law Group today for a free consultation at (818) 507-8525. The process may take time, but our workers’ compensation lawyers can get to work on your case right away.