SUPPLEMENTAL JOB DISPLACEMENT BENEFIT VOUCHER:
Other than the indemnity and future medical care, there are also other ancillary benefits which the injured working may be entitled to. The minor ones are mileage reimbursement for visits to the doctor or a deposition, but the major one is the Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit voucher (SJDB voucher).
An injured worker is entitled to a SJDB voucher when the case is when there is evidence of Permanent Disability and the Employer has failed to offer the injured worker to return to work within 60 days of the adjuster receiving a physician’s return to work & voucher report (form DWC-AD 10133.36), which indicates that what the injured worker’s work restrictions are, if any. Unfortunately, if an Injured Worker is receiving a SJDB voucher, it is more likely than not that his Employer will not be hiring him/her back. Thus, this SJDB voucher is truly a benefit to the Injured Worker who is now unemployed.
So, you may ask yourself, “What do I get from an SJDB voucher that is such a benefit to me, now that I am unemployed?” Well, the SJDB voucher entitles the Injured Worker to $6,000 in school credit to any vocational school that participates in the SJDB voucher program. This means an Injured Worker can enroll in a vocational school and his/her tuition will be covered for up to $6,000. Vocational schools train Injured Workers skills and knowledge they require to obtain a new job in another field. Additionally, the SJDB voucher entitles the Injured Worker to a laptop computer valued up to $1,000. Lastly, prior to submitting the SJDB voucher to the vocational school, the Injured Worker can use the voucher to apply for California’s Return To Work Fund, which will allow the Injured Worker to receive a $5,000 check from the state of California. This money was established by the state of California to assist Injured Workers in their attempt to return to the work force, and in turn, can be used for any purpose the Injured Worker desires, while he/she is in the process of studying in the vocational school. Thus, the Injured Worker can then return to the work force within a reasonable amount of time.
REAL CASE SCENARIO: A grocery stocker injures her hands after 20 years of repeatedly stocking groceries. After carpel tunnel surgery, her Primary Treating Physician issues a report deeming that she has 12% PD and work restrictions of no lifting over 20 lbs. Her Employer has decided to use this opportunity to not rehire her back, and so they do not offer her any work. In this situation, after 60 days, the insurance adjuster issues a SJDB voucher, and the grocery stocker can now use this SJDB voucher to apply for the $5,000 RTW Fund, and subsequent to doing so, she then finds a vocational school to enroll in, and begins a certification class in being a nurse technician. The vocational school, upon receipt of the SJDB voucher, also issues her a lap top, valued up to $1,000.