What Is a Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit?

If you suffered an injury on the job, the financial effects on your future could be immense, and California workers’ compensation laws address the attendant challenges via various benefits that can include supplemental job displacement benefits (SJDB). The gist of SJDB is the provision of a voucher that serves as a promise to help you pay for educational retraining, skill enhancement, or for both – at a school that is deemed eligible by the state. The most important point to keep in mind if you have suffered an injury on the job is that obtaining fair compensation will likely play a pivotal role in your ability to recover as fully as possible, and having an experienced El Monte workers’ compensation attorney backing you up is the surest path forward.

Your Permanent Partial Disability 

Supplemental job displacement benefits are awarded to employees who suffered an injury on the job or who acquired a job-related illness that leads to permanent partial disability benefits. Permanent disability (PD) benefits are intended to compensate those whose work-related injuries or illnesses are either permanent or long-lasting.

To begin, the doctor handling your claim will determine when your injury on the job or work-related illness has reached the point that no additional progress or change is expected, and from here, the medical professional will assign a PD rating that attaches a percentage of loss. If a preexisting condition or illness is determined to have either contributed to the seriousness of your rating or to have helped cause the underlying injury or illness, the rating may be apportioned accordingly.

To receive SJDP, you need to be officially identified as having a partial PD, but your PD rating – or percentage –will have no bearing on the voucher you receive. Only those employees who receive a rating of 100 percent are considered to have a permanent total disability, but such cases are rare.

The SJDB Basics

If you are entitled to an SJDB voucher, all the following will apply:

  • Your voucher will be redeemable for a value of up to $6,000, and it cannot be redeemed as part of your claim’s settlement – it is a separate benefit.
  • Your voucher can be used to pay for your tuition and fees, books, tools you need to succeed, or any other expenses that are required by the school you will be attending. Additionally, it can be used to obtain licensing or professional certification, for exam fees, or for exam prep courses.
  • You can use up to $600 of the voucher total to purchase the services of a licensed placement agency, a résumé preparation professional, or a return-to-work counselor (a professional whose work focuses on helping workers who’ve suffered an injury on the job formulate personal plans and priorities related to their return to work).
  • Up to $1,000 of the voucher total can be used to purchase a computer or related equipment.
  • You can use up to $500 of the voucher total for related miscellaneous costs that you won’t need to back up with receipts or other forms of documentation.

Making the most of your SDJP is important to your ability to move beyond the injury or illness you sustained on the job, but obtaining the full range of benefits to which you are entitled can be exceptionally difficult without the skilled legal guidance of a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney.

Am I Entitled to SJDB?

If both of the following are true, you are very likely entitled to supplemental job displacement benefits:

  • The injury you obtained on the job or your work-related illness leads to a permanent partial disability.
  • Your employer does not offer you an alternative work assignment for regular, modified work within 60 days of the claims administrator who is handling your claim receiving your Physician’s Return-to-Work & Voucher Report.

A seasoned workers’ compensation attorney will help to ensure that you receive your full range of employee benefits – in their entirety.

Reach Out for the Skilled Legal Guidance of an Experienced California Workers’ Comp Attorney

Workers’ compensation claims are often quite challenging, but the stakes are high, and your ability to reach your fullest recovery and continue supporting yourself financially can be on the line. A practiced California workers’ compensation attorney is well prepared and well positioned to help you obtain the benefits to which you are entitled, including permanent partial disability benefits and supplemental job displacement benefits. Don’t wait to reach out for more information about protecting your employee rights.