Workers’ Comp

California Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Benefits 

An on-the-job injury can significantly alter a person's ability to perform their regular work duties. Such injuries may prevent a person from returning to their job entirely. In such cases, they may be eligible to receive supplemental job displacement benefits (SJDB).  

This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of SJDB, how it works, and how one can qualify for it. However, before diving into SJDB,  

If an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness in CA, they may be eligible for five types of benefits: 

  • Medical care benefits, which cover all necessary medical treatment to cure or relieve the effects of the injury. 

  • Temporary disability benefits, which are wage replacement benefits that cover part of the employee's lost wages while they recover. 

  • Permanent disability benefits, which are available if the worker doesn't fully recover from their injuries.  

  • Death benefits, which are available to dependents of employees who die from a work-related injury or illness. 

  • Supplemental job displacement benefits, which are a form of vocational rehabilitation for those who cannot return to their old jobs due to the injury. 

Having outlined the types of benefits, let's now delve deeper into SJDB: 

What is SJDB? 

The Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits (SJDB) is a voucher that injured workers receive if they're unable to return to their pre-injury job and the employer doesn't offer other work. This non-transferable voucher can be used to help you begin a new line of work, which can mean obtaining retraining, new skills, and/or new education.  

Qualifying for SJDB 

To qualify for SJDB, an employee must have a work-related injury or illness that results in permanent partial disability, and their employer must be unable to provide alternative or modified work matching the employee's work restrictions. If your doctor believes that your injury or condition is permanent and stationary, they will need to:  

  • evaluate your condition,  

  • determine whether you have a permanent disability, and  

  • determine the impact the disability has on your ability to do your job duties.  

The physician will then need to write a report that outlines your work restrictions, which refer to tasks you cannot complete because of your permanent condition. If those restrictions impede your ability to return to the role you had before being injured, your employer can offer you modified work.  

Modified work can include duties you did in your previous role that are adjusted to accommodate your restrictions. However, in some cases, the work may be entirely different from your role and be “alternative work.” Whatever new duties you are presented with, alternative or modified work must meet the following criteria:  

  • The work must last for at least a year.  

  • The pay for the modified or alternative work must be at least 85% of what you previously earned.  

  • The work position must be located within a reasonable commuting distance of where you lived at the time of your injury.  

If your employer fails to offer you modified or alternative work within 60 days of receiving your physician’s report, you will be eligible to receive SJDB. It is important to note that you are not eligible for such benefits if you reject an offer for modified work.  

What Does the SJDB Voucher Cover? 

If you receive supplemental job disability benefits, they will last for two years after being issued or five years of your date of injury (whichever occurs later). The benefits are offered in the form of a voucher, which can be used to cover expenses such as:  

  • Tuition, fees, books, and other expenses required for retraining or a skill enhancement program.  

  • The cost of an occupation license or professional certification fee 

  • Exams and fees for licensing tests or preparatory courses  

  • Tools and/or programs required for training opportunities 

  • Up to $1,000 for computer equipment  

  • Up to $500 for other education-related expenses like uniforms, transportation, etc.  

  • Up to $600 for retaining help with resume preparation and/or services with a vocational counsel or licensed placement agency   

The maximum value of the voucher is $6,000, regardless of the injury's severity. It is up to the recipient to determine the use of the voucher within that budget.  

How to Receive Payments Under the Voucher 

The injured worker does not receive the voucher money directly. Instead, the school or training facility where the worker is enrolled will bill the claims administrator for the cost of the retraining or skill enhancement program. You can also submit receipts to your claims administrator for reimbursement.  

Suffered an On-the-Job Injury? Talk with Our Workers’ Comp Attorneys! 

Samra Dhillon & Associates can help you or a loved one who have been injured at work fight to obtain the benefits you are owed. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay our fees if we are successful in helping you cover compensation.  

Call (916) 571-1550 or reach out online to schedule an initial consultation today.