Cramer and Martinez

Free Consultation408-848-1113

7459 Monterey St., Suite A, Gilroy, CA 95020

Gilroy, CA Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit Attorney

Salinas supplemental job displacement benefit attorney

Lawyer Helping Injured Employees Obtain Benefits for Education and Job Training in Santa Clara County

If you have suffered a work-related injury, one of the hardest things to cope with may be learning that your injuries will permanently impact your ability to return to work and provide for yourself and your family. Medical care and disability benefits available through workers' compensation help to cover your medical bills and some of your lost wages, but neither of these are designed to help you develop the skills necessary to find new work. The good news is that since 2004, California also offers some injured workers a supplemental job displacement benefit (SJDB) designed for this very purpose.

At Cramer & Martinez, LLP, we have more than 20 years of combined legal experience with the workers' compensation process. We know how hard it can be to get back on your feet after a workplace injury, and we work to help you understand all of the different benefits for which you may be eligible and to ensure that your employer handles your case fairly.

Am I Eligible for the Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit?

If your work-related injury happened in 2004 or later, you may be eligible for the SJDB benefit if the following are true:

  • You have a permanent partial disability. This is determined by your employer's claims administrator based on a report created by your primary treating physician after you have reached maximum medical improvement. For injuries that occurred from 2004 to 2012, the amount of the benefit depended on your permanent disability rating, but for injuries since 2013, the amount is the same for any eligible employee.
  • Your employer at the time of your injury has not offered you suitable work. For work to be considered suitable, it must be something you are capable of doing within the restrictions noted by your physician, it must pay at least 85 percent of your pre-injury wages, and it must be offered for at least 12 months. For injuries since 2013, this offer must be made within 60 days of when your employer receives a Return-to-Work and Voucher Report from your physician. If you are offered suitable work and you decline to accept, you will likely not be eligible for the SJDB benefit.

What Can the Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit Be Used For?

The purpose of the SJDB benefit is to cover the expenses of education, training, or skill enhancement that would help you to find new employment. The benefit comes in the form of a voucher in the amount of $6,000 if your injuries happened in 2013 or later, and these funds can be used for any of the following expenses:

  • Tuition and fees at a California public school or a private institution included on the Eligible Training Provider List in California
  • Books, tools, and other supplies required by the school or institution for your training
  • Computer equipment up to a maximum of $1,000
  • Examination preparation courses and examination fees
  • Licensing and professional certification fees
  • Services from a placement agency or qualified return-to-work counselor up to $600.
  • Up to $500 in miscellaneous expenses

If your voucher was issued in 2013 or later, you must use it within two years of the issuing date or five years of the injury. You also have the opportunity to apply for an additional $5,000 through the Return-to-Work Supplement Program (RTWSP), and you must do so within one year of receiving the SJDB voucher.

Resolving Disputes With the Claims Administrator

In some cases, you may be denied a supplemental job displacement benefit that you believe you are entitled to. This can happen if the claims administrator is not in agreement that you have a permanent partial disability, or if there is a dispute regarding the suitability of a job offer made by your employer. If this happens to you, your attorney can help you stand up for your interests and present your position, and we will also represent you throughout the appeals process if necessary. We can also assist with disputes after your voucher has been granted, such as when the claims administrator fails to reimburse you for expenses within the required 45-day period.

Contact a Morgan Hill Workers' Compensation Benefits Lawyer

We believe in protecting the rights of injured employees, and when your eligibility for benefits is called into question, we are ready to take your case. Contact us for a free consultation at 408-848-1113. We serve clients in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Hollister, Los Banos, Watsonville, Salinas, San Jose, and throughout Santa Clara County, San Benito County, Santa Cruz County, Monterey County, and the surrounding areas.

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