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Injured workers in California are entitled to certain workers’ compensation benefits. One of these benefits an injured worker may be eligible for is called supplemental job displacement benefit. Supplemental job displacement benefits may be available to you if you are determined to be unable to return to your usual and customary employment as a result of your work injury.

If you have suffered a work-related injury and have questions about the workers’ compensation benefits that you may eligible for, contact the California workers’ compensation attorneys at Kneisler and Schondel today. Our attorneys have many years of experience litigating workers’ compensation cases in California. We know what it takes to fight for the benefits you deserve. Contact our office today to set up a consultation with our attorney so that we can get started representing you in your case.

Who is Eligible for Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits?

Job displacement benefits are designed to help injured workers with partial permanent disabilities who are unable to return to their jobs. Depending on the nature and extent of the work injury, some injured workers are able to get back to work and perform the same job and associated work duties that they held prior to their injury.

Other injured workers, after completing all of the recommended medical treatment find themselves unable to return to work in their former capacity. These are the injured workers that this benefit is designed to help. Since they cannot go back to their usual and customary job, they may need assistance in finding a new job which they are capable of performing with despite having permanent work restrictions.

Injured workers are eligible for a supplemental job displacement benefit voucher (SJDB voucher) if their employer does not offer them regular, alternative, or modified work. Regardless of the level of permanent disability, the voucher has a value of $6,000. For those with injuries that occurred prior to January 1, 2013, the value of their voucher may vary, depending on their level of permanent disability.

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The Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit Voucher

This type of benefit is given to an injured worker in the form of a voucher which they can use for educational retraining or skill development at an accredited school or one that has been approved by the state of California. The claims administrator is required to give you the voucher form if you qualify.

If you are denied this benefit and you believe that you should be receiving it, you can file a Request for Dispute Resolution form with the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). A decision will be issued by the DWC regarding your eligibility for the supplemental job displacement benefit voucher. If you do not already have a workers’ compensation attorney handling your case for you, any time you reach an impasse or receive a denial of a benefit you believe you should be getting, it is a good idea to hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to fight for you.

Using the Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit Voucher

The SJDB voucher may be used to pay for any fees associated with licensing, testing, and certifications. It can also be used to buy tools that are necessary for a training course. Computer equipment may be purchased; however, the voucher can only be used to cover these costs up to $1,000.

You can also use a portion of the voucher to reimburse up to $500 in miscellaneous expenses. In addition, the money can be used to pay for the services of a vocational counselor or a licensed placement agency; however, this is limited to ten percent of the voucher value, or $600.

For injured workers with a date of injury of January 1, 2013, or later, the supplemental job displacement benefit voucher will expire two years following the issue date, or five years from the date of the work injury, whichever occurs later. Injured workers with a date of injury prior to 2013 do not have an expiration date on their vouchers. It is essential to keep the expiration date in mind if it applies in your case so that you can be sure to timely use the benefit as intended to help you find a new job.

If you have questions about your eligibility for a supplemental job displacement voucher, contact Kneisler and Schondel. We can help you determine whether you are eligible for this benefit, or any other workers’ compensation benefits.