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Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC)

Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation

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Return to Work, Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit, Return-to-Work Supplement Program and Vocational Rehabilitation

Return to work is one of the most important aspects of workers' compensation after medical treatment and indemnity compensation are considered. A work injury can interrupt routines and adversely affect financial and personal well-being.

Employees injured between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2012, who are permanently unable to do their usual job and whose employer does not offer other work may qualify for the Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit (SJDB). The benefit comes in the form of a non-transferable voucher that can be used to pay for educational retraining or skill enhancement, or both, at state-approved or state-accredited schools. The voucher covers school tuition, fees, books and expenses required by the school for training. For injuries on or after Jan. 1, 2013, the voucher can cover the above expenses plus additional equipment. For additional information on this benefit: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/sjdb.html.

The Return-to-Work Supplement Program is one of the components of Senate Bill 863. Labor Code section 139.48 requires the Director to administer a $120 million fund for the purpose of making supplemental payments to workers whose permanent disability benefits are disproportionately low in comparison to their earnings losses. An applicant must have a date of injury (DOI) on or after Jan. 1, 2013 and have received a Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit (SJDB) voucher for said injury. For additional information about this program benefit: http://www.dir.ca.gov/RTWSP/RTWSP.html

According to the RAND Corporation, both employers and injured workers benefit when employees return to work quickly following a workplace injury: Injured workers recover from their injuries faster and suffer less wage loss and employers maintain the value of the investment they've made in their employees by bringing them back to the job as soon as medically possible.


The following links refer to reports written using a former version of the CHSWC website

Review of literature on 'modified work'

Does modified work facilitate return to work for temporarily or permanently disabled workers? - August 1997
Project description
Status: completed

Predictors and measures of return to work

Determinants of return-to-work and duration of disability after work-related injury or illness: Developing a research agenda - April 2001
Project description
Status: completed

Task force on alternative or modified work in the construction industry

Carve-outs in workers' compensation: an analysis of experience in the California construction industry - September 1999
Project description
Status: completed

Policies and strategies to help injured workers return to sustained employment

Return-to-Work in California: Listening to Stakeholders' Voice - July 2001
Project description
Status: completed

Primary treating physician effectiveness in RTW after low back injuries

Project description
Status: in process

Best practices encouraging return-to-work

Project description
Status: in process

Vocational rehabilitation study

Vocational rehabilitation reform evaluation - March 2000

Vocational rehabilitation benefit: An analysis of costs, characteristics, and the impact of the 1993 reforms, August 1997
Project description
Status: completed

October 2016