If you are a disabled worker injured on the job, you may be eligible for payments beyond your permanent disability and temporary disability benefits through California’s workers’ compensation system. The Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF) in Santa Ana is designed to compensate some disabled workers, so employers are not responsible for pre-existing conditions that may worsen with another accident. These cases can be heard at the Workers Compensation Appeals board in Orange County, Anaheim, or any other WCAB in California.
SIBTF also incentivizes disabled employees to get back to work. As long as your pre-existing disability and new work injury combined qualify you as at least 70 percent disabled, you may be entitled to this additional compensation. Not many California attorneys are willing to take on the complex application process, but our dedicated lawyers are here to help you.
To qualify for SIBTF, an employee must have a pre-existing disability and then suffer a subsequent injury which must cause at least 35 percent of the 70 percent permanent disability. The subsequent injury must be industrial, where the pre-existing disability can be based on an industrial or non-industrial occurrence. According to the California Labor Code § 4751 concerning qualifying for SIBTF, employees must:
The SIBTF was created in 1945 to assist disabled Californians seeking gainful employment using their unique skills. Injured employees in Orange County who qualify for SIBTF will find that the state makes up the difference in benefits between the pre-existing disability and what the subsequent injury adds to the disability.
You can see more information on qualifying for SIBTF on our Webinar.
Subsequent injury benefits are administered by the California Division of Workers’ Compensation. Litigation is involved through the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, which can settle through a stipulated award in which benefits are paid in installments, or in some rare occasions by a compromise and release, which is a one-time payout.
The injured worker bears the burden of proving pre-existing and subsequent injuries and meeting the threshold to qualify for benefits. An experienced, knowledgeable attorney should be consulted to navigate this complex process.
Unlike workers’ compensation benefits, Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund benefits do not pay for medical care and lost wages. They are a calculated amount to make up the difference between permanent partial disability and the increase in disability from the new injury.
Some mandatory deductions and credits can apply that will impact the amount of SIBTF benefits paid in Orange County. These can include past workers’ compensation awards, Social Security disability payments, and personal injury lawsuit awards.
California has a long history of encouraging disabled employees to find meaningful work while protecting employers from economic responsibility if the disabled persons they hire are hurt on the job in a subsequent accident. If you find yourself in this situation, there may be help beyond workers’ compensation.
Although the process is complex, our dedicated attorneys could help you through it. Call today to learn more about the Subsequent Injury Benefits Trust Fund from an Orange attorney.