A voucher, also known as a supplemental job displacement voucher, is a benefit afforded to injured workers who are unable to return to either their usual job, a modified job, or an alternative job. It is a benefit that allows an injured worker to pay for education-related retraining. However, the education must generally be at a state-accredited or a state-approved school. There are some exceptions for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2013. The voucher can be used for tuition, books and expenses.
In order to qualify for a voucher, an injured worker’s injury must be addressed by a physician who determines the permanent work restrictions. The employer has the option to attempt to provide the injured worker with regular, modified or alternate work. If the employer is unable to provide this, then the injured worker may be entitled to this benefit. However, if the employer offers regular, modified, or alternate work within the work restrictions, and the injured worker does not accept the position, then he/she foregoes the right to a voucher benefit.
The amount of the voucher varies depending upon the date of injury. For example, if an injury occurs between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2012, the amount of the voucher is based upon the permanent disability percentage. The voucher ranges from $4,000 up to $10,000. However, as of January 1, 2013, for all injuries occurring on or after this date, the voucher rate is $6,000, regardless of the permanent disability rating.
The voucher issuance date varies depending on the date of injury. If the injury occurs between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2012, the voucher should be provided to the injured worker within 25 calendar days from the date of the settlement award. However, for injuries on or after January 1, 2013, the voucher should be provided 60 days after a medical-legal examiner declares the injured worker permanent and stationary and addresses the applicant’s permanent work restrictions. However, this voucher is only due if the employer cannot offer the injured worker a job.
If you have questions about your workers' compensation injury and want to talk to an attorney in Fresno, please call 559-408-7436 or fill out the form to the right.
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