If there is one situation in which no worker in California would want to be, it is being unable to return to his or her regular job after suffering a debilitating injury. Fortunately, the workers' compensation insurance system has several methods of assisting injured employees. One of which is the supplemental job placement benefits program, known as SJDB.
An employer must offer the worker an alternative, modified or regular job that will accommodate the partial disability. When it is determined that a workplace injury led to a permanent partial disability, the employer has 60 days from the date on which the claims adjuster received confirmation of the disability to make the offer. If such an offer is not forthcoming, the worker will be eligible for a nontransferable SJDB voucher with a value of $6,000, which cannot be exchanged for cash.
This voucher enables the worker to acquire new skills that will allow him or her to pursue a new career. He or she can choose to receive training at any public school or another authorized training provider. Along with tuition, the voucher will cover the costs of tools required for the training along with fees for testing, certification and licensing. Limited percentages of the voucher may also be used for miscellaneous expenses, vocational counseling and a placement agency.
Navigating the claims process to obtain all the workers' compensation benefits could be a daunting task. However, an injured worker need not tackle it without the help of an experienced attorney. A lawyer who frequently deals with disabled California employees will know how to pursue the maximum benefits to which the worker is entitled.
Source: dir.ca.gov, "Supplemental job displacement benefits", Accessed on May 30, 2018