If an injured worker is unable to return to the job they were doing when they suffered the work injury, they may be due a Supplemental Job Displacement Voucher (“Voucher”). Entitlement will depend upon the opinions of the primary treating physician or Midical Legal Evaluator, and if the employer offered the worker permanent modified work, within certain requirements. The type of Voucher the injured worker may due will depend upon the date of injury. It is important to understand that Voucher’s expire and you must follow up with the claims examiner, or your attorney, regarding entitlement.
In a perfect world, you would get retraining to do another job. There is no more retraining benefit in California Workers Compensation. Vocational Rehabilitation was a retraining benefit until it got eliminated in 2003.
Now, if you are unable to do your the job you held when injured, you may be entitled to a “coupon” for retraining – a Supplemental Job Displacement Voucher. The coupon is for an amount between $4,000 and $10,000. It may be used at specified educational institutions only. It does not cover living expenses while attending school. The insurance company does not have to give you the voucher until after your case has settled. For assistance with Supplemental Job Displacement vouchers I recommend the Ilearn Institute [insert link].
Additionally, if your company employs 50 or more people, and you are not offered a job with the old employer, you may get a fifteen percent increase in your permanent disability payments. If you do go back to your old job, your permanent disability payments might be reduced by fifteen percent.
If you were injured after January 1, 2013, you may also be entitled to a $5,000 return to work fund money from the State of California. This money can be obtained once you have received the voucher.
A Voucher is not cash but can be settled out in some cases (Dates of Injury before 1/1/13). The voucher is be used to get retraining or education classes. It is a good idea to use a vocational expert to come up with a plan and help use the voucher. They receive a small up to 10% of the value of the voucher but are well worth it.