Sometimes we get so involved in the rigors and minutiae of our jobs that we can all use a reminder of what is involved in the day to day handling of the defense of workers’ compensation claims. Today’s reminder is what the injured worker is entitled to receive as part of the supplemental job displacement benefit.
According to 8 CCR §10133.31(f) (1-6):
The maximum $6,000 voucher may be applied to ANY of the following expenses AT THE CHOICE OF THE INJURED WORKER:
- Payment for education related training or skill enhancement, or both, at a California public school or a certified provider. This includes payment of tuition, fees, books and other expenses required by the school for retraining and skill enhancement.
- Payment for occupational licensing or professional certification fees, related examination fees and examination preparation course fees.
- Payment for services of licensed placement agencies, vocational or return to work counseling and resume preparation all up to a combined limit of $600.
- Purchase of certain tools required by a training or educational program in which the employee is enrolled.
- Purchase of certain specific computer equipment at a cost of up to $1,000.00, payable upon submission of a request for purchase of computer equipment (page 4 of the voucher) and upon submission of documentation of a written invoice payable to a computer retailer or itemized receipts showing the employee purchased the computer equipment. Reimbursement is not allowed for purchase of games or entertainment media.
- Up to $500.00 as a miscellaneous expense reimbursement or advance payable upon submission of Page 3 of the voucher form (§10133.32). This does not require itemized documentation or accounting
Note that the applicant does NOT have to be enrolled in a school to purchase a computer.
The voucher expires two years after the date it is furnished to the injured worker or five years after the date of the injury whichever is later. The injured worker may not receive payment or reimbursement of any expenses that have not been incurred and submitted with appropriate documentation prior to the expiration date.
Importantly the employer is not liable for compensation for injuries incurred by the employee while utilizing the voucher.
The injured worker may be entitled to a SJDB Voucher for EACH industrial injury sustained, even if both injuries become P&S at the same time. The benefit is associated with and triggered by each qualifying “injury”. Each injury claim is judged on it own merits in terms of applicant’ entitlement to the voucher.
What This Means for You:
As an employer or claims administrator it is important to keep track of the maximum amount of liability for which each item can be applied for dates of injury on or after 1/1/2013 and when they may receive those benefits.