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Does Workers’ Compensation Provide Vocational Rehabilitation?

 Posted on January 18,2022 in Workers' Compensation

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_2002074008.jpgFor people who are injured in the workplace, workers’ compensation can provide crucial benefits that will allow them to receive the proper medical care and support themselves while they are recovering. In many cases, injured workers will suffer from temporary setbacks, and they will be able to return to their previous positions after they have fully recovered. However, there are some situations where a person may suffer from permanent impairments that make it difficult or impossible to continue doing the work they had done in the past. While permanent disability benefits may provide assistance in these cases, a person will likely be looking to find work in the future that will fit within their limitations. However, doing so can be difficult, especially if a person has limited experience outside of their previous position or if they do not have the skills to pursue other types of work. Fortunately, certain workers may qualify for vocational rehabilitation that will allow them to receive training and pursue employment in new fields.

Receiving Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits

When a work injury results in a permanent partial disability, a person may qualify for supplemental job displacement benefits (SJDB). In these cases, a person will receive a voucher for $6,000 that may be spent on job training and other forms of vocational rehabilitation. Up to $1,000 may be put toward the purchase of computer equipment that may be used during job training and job searches. $600 may be spent on vocational counseling, and $500 may be used to pay for miscellaneous expenses. The remainder of the voucher may be used to pay for training programs from one or more state-approved providers or for expenses related to obtaining a professional license, including exam fees, license application fees, and licensing exam preparation courses.

A person can only qualify for SJDB if they have not received an applicable job offer from their former employer. In some cases, an employer may offer a position with modified work that fits within a person’s limitations. If this offer is for a position that will last at least one year and will pay at least 85 percent of the wages the person earned before being injured, the person will not qualify for SJDB. If a qualifying job offer is not made within 60 days after a claims administrator receives a return-to-work report from the person’s doctor, the person will be able to receive an SJDB voucher.

Additional Benefits Through the Return-to-Work Supplement Program

A person who has received an SJDB voucher may also qualify for an additional payment that is meant to address the loss of income a person has experienced due to their disability. The Return-to-Work Supplement Program (RTWSP) provides a cash benefit of $5,000. Workers must apply to receive this benefit within one year after receiving an SJDB voucher.

Contact Our San Benito County Vocational Rehabilitation Lawyers

In many cases, injured workers are not aware of the benefits they can receive through workers’ compensation, and they may not fully use the benefits that are available to them. In fact, studies have shown that those who receive SJDB vouchers only spend $4,600, on average, out of the $6,000 they are eligible to receive, and only half of all workers who are eligible for RTWSP apply for these benefits. Those who work with an attorney are much more likely to receive the full amount of benefits they are eligible to receive. At Cramer + Martinez, we can assist with work injury claims and make sure injured workers will have the necessary financial resources to make a full recovery and return to work. To learn how we can help with your case, contact our Hollister workers’ comp benefits attorneys at 408-848-1113 and set up a complimentary consultation today.


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