Workers in California who are injured and permanently disabled may qualify to receive supplemental job displacement benefits through worker’s compensation. This is a voucher that can be used to pay for the enhancement of skills or to be retrained. There are different rules for people who suffered their injuries between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2012 and those who were injured on or after January 1, 2013.
If a worker was injured between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2012, the injury led to permanent partial disability, and the person does not return to work within 60 days of the temporary disability benefits being terminated, and his or her employer has not given the opportunity for a suitable alternative or modified job within 30 days of the termination of temporary disability, SJDB is an alternative. The voucher must be used at a state-accredited or state-approved school. It can help pay for the costs of the school, including tuition, books and other expenses. Up to 10 percent of the voucher can be used for career counseling. The amount of the voucher ranges from $4,000 to $10,000 and hinges on the level of the permanent disability.
If a workplace injury was suffered on or after January 1, 2013, and no offer of other work is made within 60 days of the report stating that there is permanent partial disability, then an injured worker can qualify for SJDB. The voucher in this case will be worth $6,000. It can be used for training at a public school in California or another provider that is on the list of eligible providers. It can be utilized to pay for certification, testing, purchasing tools for training, computer equipment up to $1,000, and for reimbursement of up to $500 for miscellaneous costs. Up to $600, or 10 percent, can be used for career counseling.
The voucher for those injured from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2012 will be available as soon as the level of permanent disability has been determined. For those injured on or after January 1, 2013, it will be due within 20 calendar days after the time at which the employer was to have offered a different job. The voucher for those who were injured prior to 2013 does not expire. The voucher for an injury suffered after 2013 will expire within two years of issuance or five years from the date of the injury.
For people who have filed workers’ compensation claims after a workplace injury and meet the criteria, SJDB is an option to help them get back on their feet. For help with this or any other matter related to workers’ compensation, a legal professional may be essential.