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Vocational Rehabilitation / Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits (SJDB)

The right to vocational rehabilitation has been modified dramatically and is now limited to a voucher system. A voucher is available only if there is medical evidence that the injured worker cannot physically or mentally return to the job the worker was doing when injured. A voucher is not available if the employer makes a valid offer of modified or alternate work.

For injuries occurring between January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2012, the amount of the voucher depends upon the percentage of partial permanent disability. If the voucher was issued prior to January 1, 2013 it does not expire.

For injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2013 the voucher amount will be $6,000 and will expire within two years of being issued or five years from the date of injury, whichever comes later.

The nontransferable voucher may, subject to certain restrictions, be applied by the worker to expenses, such as payment for retraining or skill enhancement at a California approved school; payments for occupational licensing or certification and examination fees; payment for services of placement agencies or return to work counseling; purchase of tools or computer equipment required by training; and payment for certain miscellaneous expenses.

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