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How Do Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits Work?

When work injuries lead to permanent disability, you may no longer be able to perform your usual job. While many employers can offer alternative positions, not all of them can.

For those, the State of California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) offers supplemental job displacement benefits (SJDB) as a solution. There are two categories of income benefits for SJDB:

  • For workers suffering injury during 2004 through 2012 ─ $4,000 to $10,000 based on disability rating
  • For workers suffering injury in 2013 or later ─ $6,000 depending on disability

The benefit is a non-transferable voucher you can use to pay for educational retraining, skill enhancement or both at state approved or accredited educational institutions. You can use 10 percent of the voucher for vocational counseling.

To qualify for an SJDB voucher, a workers' compensation judge, the insurance company or a mutual agreement with your employer must determine your level of physical disability. Once your treating doctor or qualified medical evaluator declares your injury to be permanent and stationary and specifies your work capabilities, your employer can offer an alternative job. The job must pay at least 85 percent of your previous earnings and last a minimum of 12 months. When employers do not offer you another job, you can expect to receive a voucher within 60 days after your doctor issues a report that you reached maximum medical improvement and states your capabilities.

A vocational return to work counselor (VRTWC) can often help you choose a training program based on your skills and medical limitations.

For answers to questions and valuable legal guidance with your claim, consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney.

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