The Return-to-Work Supplement ProgramBy Kenton Koszdin on September 3, 2023 | In Blogs
Workers’ comp provides medical care and limited monetary benefits, such as partial replacement of lost wages, for injured workers. But these are not the only benefits available from workers’ comp. Some injured employees may also be eligible for Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits as well as certain benefits under the Return-to-Work Supplement Program.
The latter is a cash payment that you may be eligible to receive if your work injury occurred after Jan 01, 2003. Learn more about the Return-to-Work Supplement Program in California, then contact an experienced California workers’ comp attorney to discuss your case and move forward.
What Is the Return-to-Work Supplement Program?
What is RTWSP? It is a program that offers supplemental workers’ compensation benefits for workers who have been disproportionately injured while engaging in work. If you qualify for the program, you will receive a one-time payment of $5,000, which can be used to help you cover bills while looking for new work or can pay for wardrobe expenses and additional needs.
How Do You Know Whether You Are Eligible?
Injured employees looking to collect the $5,000 RTWSP payment should make sure they are eligible before applying. To receive the benefit, you must have:
- Been injured after Jan 13, 2013;
- Received an SJDB voucher;
- Applied for RTWSP before the deadline, which is one year from the date your SJDB voucher was mailed.
Speak with an experienced attorney to make sure you have the documents required to apply.
What Is a Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit (SJDB) Voucher?
The Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit voucher is a benefit designed to help certain injured workers find new forms of employment. It is only available to workers who have permanent disabilities that prevent them from returning to their customary form of employment and who have successfully applied for and received workers’ comp benefits because of an injury on the job. It is a non-transferable benefit and allows workers, in general, to pay for certain goods and services that help them learn new skills and information needed for employment in a new line of work. If you have suffered a permanent injury or have contracted a work-related illness on the job, you may be eligible for an SJDB voucher. Keep in mind that there are deadlines for requesting supplemental job displacement benefits. If your accident occurred on or after Jan 01, 2013, your voucher expires two years after issuance or five years after the date your injury occurred.
What Does It Cover?
The SJDB voucher for most is $6,000, and it covers expenses for learning new skills to enter a new field of work. Qualified expenses include:
- Licensing fees
- Exam fees
- Miscellaneous expenses up to $500
- Computers and equipment up to $1,000
Most monetary expenditures directly related to your job training may be paid for with the SJDB voucher.
How to Challenge a Denial of Your Request for SJDB Voucher
If your return-to-work voucher has been denied, you have the right to appeal a denial of this supplemental benefit by filing a Request for Dispute Resolution before the California Department of Industrial Relations.
How to Apply for the Return-to-Work Supplement Program in California
If you are entitled to apply to the Return-to-Work Supplement Program, you must make sure that you follow the RTWSP application instructions to the letter, or your application will likely be denied. Hence, it is important to include all necessary documentation and paperwork, such as:
- Your personal identification and contact information;
- Your Social Security number or tax ID number;
- Your SJDB voucher;
- Your workers’ compensation claim number;
- Your workers’ comp adjudication number.
Regarding your workers’ comp claim number, you can find it by simply checking the paperwork you have received regarding your case. As far as the adjudication number goes, you can find it by reviewing the appropriate public records.
If you are having trouble with any portion of your application, reach out to an experienced Los Angeles workers’ comp attorney for help.
What Is the Deadline to Apply for the RTWSP?
Eligible workers who are seeking the return-to-work supplemental payment are under a strict deadline to apply for the benefit. Currently, an employee has a total of one year from the time their SJDB voucher was mailed to them to take action and submit their application. Failure to meet this deadline will likely result in a loss of the RTWSP payout.
When Will You Receive Your $5,000 Payout?
Many of our clients wonder, “How long does it take to get the RTWSP check?” The answer is that the Social Security Administration has 60 days to review your application once it is received. Within these 60 days, you should receive an approval or a denial. If approved, your check will arrive within 25 days of the date you were informed of the Administration’s decision.
A California Lawyer Can Help with Workers’ Comp Rights
If you have been permanently disabled because of a work injury and are interested in alternative work, you may qualify for the Return-to-Work Supplement Program. It provides a $5,000 payment that you can use to help you reintegrate into the workforce. However, the application process for an injured worker is complex and unforgiving of errors.
At Kenton Koszdin, we’ve helped thousands of workers just like you access the full wealth of benefits they deserve, and we can potentially help you too. Contact us today for a free consultation with a Los Angeles workers’ comp lawyer.