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Supplemental job displacement benefits

For Injuries between Jan. 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2012:

An employee injured between Jan. 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2012, whose injury causes permanent partial disability and (1) who does not return to work within 60 days from termination of temporary disability benefits and (2) whose employer does not offer suitable modified or alternative work within 30 days from termination of temporary disability benefits 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. No more than 10 percent of the value of the voucher can be used for vocational & return to work counseling. The amount of the voucher varies from $4,000 to $10,000, depending on the level of permanent disability.

For Injuries on or after January 1, 2013:

An employee injured on or after Jan. 1, 2013, whose employer does not offer suitable regular, modified or alternative work within 60 days from receipt by the claims administrator of a medical treatment or medical evaluation report that the employee’s injury caused permanent partial disability may also qualify for the supplemental job displacement benefit (SJDB). The benefit comes in the form of a non-transferrable voucher, which is equivalent to a total amount of $6000, regardless of the level of permanent disability.  The voucher can be used for training at a California public school or any other provider listed on the state’s eligible training provider list. It can also be used to pay licensing or certification and testing fees, to purchase tools required by a training course, to purchase computer equipment of up to $1,000 and to reimburse up to $500 in miscellaneous expenses. Up to 10 percent or $600 may be used to pay for the services of a licensed placement agency or vocational counselor. No more than 10 percent of the value of the voucher can be used for vocational & return to work counseling.

When is the voucher available?

For injuries occurring between Jan. 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2012, the voucher is offered to an injured worker when his or her PD level has been determined, either by way of an agreement between the worker and the employer or insurance company or by way of an award by a workers’ compensation judge.

For injuries on or after Jan. 1, 2013, the voucher is due within 20 calendar days from the expiration of time for making an offer of regular, modified, or alternative work. The job must pay no less than 85 percent of the worker’s earnings at the time of the injury, and must be expected to last at least 12 months.

Does the voucher have an expiration date?

The voucher does not expire if issued prior to Jan. 1, 2013. If issued on or after Jan. 1, 2013, the voucher will expire within two years of being issued or five years from the date of injury, whichever comes later.

Can the voucher be settled for a cash payment?

For injuries on or after Jan. 1, 2013, vouchers cannot be settled or commuted for cash.

What can the voucher be used for?

The voucher can be used for training at a California public school or any other provider listed on the state’s eligible training provider list. It can also be used to pay licensing or certification and testing fees, to purchase tools required by a training course, to purchase computer equipment of up to $1,000 and to reimburse up to $500 in miscellaneous expenses. Up to 10 percent, or $600 may be used to pay for the services of a licensed placement agency or vocational counselor. No more than 10 percent of the value of the voucher can be used for vocational & return to work counseling.

What is the Return-to-Work Supplement Program?

Injured workers with a date of injury on or after Jan. 1, 2013 and who have received a SJDB voucher for said injury may be eligible for a one-time return-to-work supplement of $5000. All vouchers must be accompanied by a cover sheet prepared by the claims administrator containing notice of the Return-to-Work Supplement Program. Find out more at the Return-to-Work Supplement Program page.

Want to learn more? Find it in the guidebook

Did you know?

  • You can contact the Information and Assistance Unit if you have questions about benefits or call 1-800-736-7401 for recorded information
  • No more than 10 percent of the value of the voucher can be used for vocational and return to work counseling
  • In addition to tuition, a voucher may be used for the payment of fees, books and other expenses
  • If you pay for the eligible expenses, you may be entitled to reimbursement.

Questions workers have:

May 2015