What If I Can't Do My Old Job Due To A Work Injury?

If you can't do your old job due to a work-related injury, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation benefits through California workers' compensation. These benefits are known Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits, or SJDB.

At the Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates in Anaheim, our attorneys are here to help you obtain all of the benefits you are due from workers' compensation. Call 714-464-6903 for a free lawyer consultation about vocational rehabilitation benefits.

If you are permanently unable to perform your job duties due to a work-related injury, you may qualify for rehabilitation benefits. These benefits come in the form of a voucher, which you use to get re-educated to gain a skill to perform due to your inability to do your pre-injury job. How the vouchers work will depend on when you were injured.

If You Were Injured From 2004 To 2012

This voucher ranges from $4,000 to $10,000 according to the level of permanent disability that your injury warrants. The following are answers to frequently asked questions about the vouchers:

  • What does the voucher cover? The voucher covers tuition, fees, books, expenses required for school training (such as computer and materials)
  • When can I get a voucher? You can get a voucher when you are determined to be permanently disabled either by agreement or medical records. Once you are determined to be permanently disabled, workers' compensation has 60 days to issue a voucher. However, if your employer offers you a job that accommodates your disability, you will no longer be eligible for rehabilitation benefits.
  • Can my employer offer me any job? No, the position must pay at least 85 percent of your pre-injury earnings and be expected to last at least 12 months. You must have the ability to perform the duties, and the position must be reasonably near your residence at the time of the injury.
  • Can I still get vocational rehabilitation benefits if I deny the job offer? No, if the job offered complies with requirements and you deny it, you are not eligible for rehabilitation benefits.
  • How do I obtain vocational rehabilitation benefits? If you are eligible, our lawyers will demand that workers' compensation issue a voucher. We will give you options of schools and services that will provide counseling and schooling to re-educate you and return you to the open labor market. We will be in constant communication with you to ensure the rehabilitation program is working for you.
  • What will be the amount of my voucher? The amount of your voucher is determined by the percentage of your permanent disability:

— Up to $4,000 for less than 15 percent permanent disability

— Up to $6,000 for 15 percent to 25 percent permanent disability

— Up to $8,000 for 26 percent to 49 percent permanent disability

— Up to $10,000 for 50 percent to 99 percent permanent disability

  • Can I get money instead of a voucher for re-education? Yes, you can obtain a cash settlement for injuries occurring 2004 to 2012. However, you may not be paid the full value of the voucher. Our lawyers will negotiate with the insurance company to get you the most favorable settlement.
  • Should I settle my case or use the voucher? If you need new skills to be employed, we recommend you take full advantage of the vocational rehabilitation benefits.
  • How long do I have to use my voucher? If you were injured before 2013, your voucher will not expire. However we recommend that you take advantage of the voucher immediately so your return to the open labor market can be as smooth as possible.
  • Can I use the voucher at any school? No, the school must be accredited by the state of California. Our attorneys will walk you through the process and only recommend schools that are eligible.

If You Were Injured After 2013

If you were injured in 2013 or later, most of the above information still applies. However, the following parts of the voucher program will be different:

  • Your voucher will be up to $6,000 regardless of your percentage of disability.
  • You cannot settle for cash instead of a voucher.
  • Your voucher expires after two years from the date of issuance.

Contact An Experienced Vocational Rehabilitation Lawyer in Orange County

Our lawyers will take every step to ensure that you receive all of the vocational rehab benefits that you are entitled to. For more information, call 714-464-6903 or fill out our simple contact form. We never charge for consultations, and there is no obligation.