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What Happens When You Cannot Go Back to Your Original Job

grabbing back in warehouseIf you were so severely injured that you can no longer work in the same job as before, California’s workers’ compensation system may provide compensation to help you work in a new job.

Below, the Bakersfield workers’ compensation lawyers at Berry, Smith & Bartell discuss these benefits, including what they can be used for. You can discuss this issue in more detail in a free consultation.

Benefits When You Cannot Do Your Old Job

Supplemental job displacement benefits are vouchers that help you pay for training at schools that are eligible to receive this benefit. The claims administrator handling your claim must offer you this type of benefit if:

  • Your injury results in a partial disability that is permanent
  • Your company cannot or will not offer regular, modified or an alternative work arrangement within two months of the date the claims administrator received the physician’s return to work and voucher report

The state maintains an Eligible Training Provider List where you can use the voucher. Alternatively, you can use the voucher by attending a California public school. You can check the Division of Workers’ Compensation website to see a list of qualified vocational and return-to-work counselors.

What Can You Use the Money For?

The voucher can be for as much as $6,000 and can pay for retraining expenses, advancing your skills or helping you become qualified for a new position. The money can be used for the following expenses:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Expenses required to take courses at approved programs
  • Books
  • Maximum of $1,000 for a computer and related equipment
  • Maximum of $600 to pay for help from a licensed placement agency, return-to-work counselor and help with your resume
  • Maximum of $500 to pay for other expenses, such as the cost of transportation
  • Occupational licensing or professional certification fees
  • Examination and preparation courses to obtain occupational licensing or professional certifications
  • Required tools for a training course

To use the voucher, present it to the school or counselor you select. This person can then get in touch with the claims administrator to obtain a direct payment. Alternatively, you can purchase what you need and then submit receipts for these payments to the administrator for reimbursement.

How Long Do You Have to Use the Money?

You have two years from the date the voucher is issued to you or five years from the date of your work-related injury, whichever date comes later.

Additional Cash Payment When Benefits are Low

California has an additional program that can help injured workers who are unable to return to their original job. The return-to-work supplement program provides cash for injured workers who have received a job displacement benefit and are receiving much less in disability benefits compared to what they made at their old job.

Injured workers can apply for this additional benefit that is currently $5,000. The deadline is typically one year from the date you received your supplemental job displacement voucher.

Contact Berry, Smith & Bartell for Legal Help

If you were injured at work, the workers’ compensation lawyers at Berry, Smith & Bartell may be able to help you pursue benefits. This includes filing an appeal if your claim is unfairly denied.

Because our lawyers do not receive any payment for their services unless you recover compensation for your claim, there is no financial risk in contacting us to learn more about your rights. The consultation is free of charge and there is no obligation to take legal action.

For a free case evaluation with Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation call 1-800-848-6288 today!

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