I’ve been released to return to work with permanent restrictions. What do I do now?
As an injured worker, when you are finally cleared to return to work, this situation can often bring with it a great deal of relief. It can also present a lot of confusion. How will my employer adjust my job with the work restrictions the doctor has applied?
If you desire to return to your pre-injury job following a release from your treating physician, your employer is required to work with you to provide a reasonable accommodation. You must request the accommodation – preferably in writing. This starts the interactive process which engages both you and the employer in what possible accommodations can be made.
If you are unable to return to your usual and customary duties that you were performing at the time of the injury, then you may be eligible for a supplemental job displacement benefit (SJDB). This benefit can assist an injured worker with obtaining education or skills needed for reentering the workforce. The benefit consists of a voucher that can be used at any California state approved or state-accredited school. The voucher can also be used with a vocational expert for return to work counseling.
We are available to help. Please contact our office if you are not being treated fairly regarding your attempt to return to work. Should you need any assistance regarding your SJDB voucher, please feel free to call so we can answer any questions you have so that you can obtain the skills and education you need to get back to work.
I have the voucher, but it’s just not enough to keep me and my family afloat while I obtain new skills. What can I do?
If you have been injured at work after January 1, 2013 and have received a supplemental job displacement benefit from the insurance carrier, you are eligible to apply for the Return-To-Work Supplement Program (RTWSP). This fund is designed to provide additional money to injured workers whose disability benefits are disproportionately low in comparison to earnings losses.
The amount of the supplement is $5,000.00 if you are found to be eligible. Injured workers may apply for the RTWSP at any DWC district office where computer kiosks are available or online at https://www.dir.ca.gov/RTWSP/RTWSPApplication.html
There is a timeline for applying to receive benefits from the RTWSP and it is one year from the date the supplemental job displacement benefit was served to the injured worker. You would want to identify the final page of the SJDB, which is the proof of service. The proof of service will indicate the date the voucher was served and you have 1 year from that date to apply for the supplemental funds.
It is our goal to get every person who has been hurt on the job back to work. We are happy to lend our time to those who have questions or need assistance obtaining or applying for the benefits and funds needed to put you in the best position to get back to gainful employment.