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How Your Work-Related Permanent Disability Rating May Receive Additional Compensation

Many injured workers choose to retain an attorney to secure the most benefits they can receive under workers’ comp....

How Your Work-Related Permanent Disability Rating May Receive Additional Compensation

Many injured workers choose to retain an attorney to secure the most benefits they can receive under workers’ compensation. However, most workers’ compensation attorneys are unaware of benefits that some injured workers may qualify for even after they settle or win an award. In other words, some represented disabled workers miss out on additional compensation they may receive from the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund.

What is the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund?

The Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF) is a resource that pays additional compensation to injured workers who have completed their workers’ compensation claim. The SIBTF is not an insurance company or an employer. The SIBTF is administered by the California Division of Workers’ Compensation. It was established to encourage the employment of persons with pre-existing disabilities or impairments by paying additional compensation in the event the person with a pre-existing condition later gets injured at work and pursues a workers’ compensation claim.  

Who qualifies to receive additional compensation from SIBTF?

A person who has completed their workers’ compensation claim, but had a pre-existing disability or impairment may qualify for compensation from the SIBTF.

Someone with a pre-existing disability or impairment was already permanently partially disabled who later injured at work. Therefore, a person qualifies for SIBTF compensation if they had a pre-existing condition at the time they were injured at work and had a workers’ compensation claim, and as a result, are more disabled.

However, it is not enough that the worker becomes more disabled. There are two numerical thresholds to meet:

1.     First, the combination of both prior disability and work injury must result in a permanent disability equal to 70% or more.

2.     Second, either the prior disability or impairment affected a hand, arm, foot, leg, or eye, and the work injury affected the opposite and corresponding member. Or, the work-injury alone resulted in a permanent disability of 35%.

Does the prior disability have to be work-related?

No. The applicable statute, Labor Code section 4751, does not require the prior disability to have been the result of a prior work-related injury. The prior disability must impair the ability to perform work or otherwise would be ratable as if it were a work-related injury. There should also be evidence of the prior disability.

If you have questions about whether your prior injury or illness may qualify, contact us for a free review.

What benefits are paid from the SIBTF?

The amount of benefits paid from the SIBTF is the difference between the combined permanent disability and the permanent disability paid for the work-related injury by the employer.

Furthermore, the duration of the benefits paid from the SIBTF continues weekly for the life of the injured worker.

If you suffered a work-related injury and you have a prior disability, act to secure the additional compensation you deserve! While there is no statute of limitations to these benefits, you must file for them within a reasonable time.

The Attorneys at SoCal Workers Comp Can Start Your Claim for SIBTF Benefits

Even if you settled your work injury claim without an attorney, you can retain an attorney to start your claim for SIBTF benefits. Pursuing a claim requires appropriate filing and access to doctors to provide proof of entitlement to benefits. The attorneys of SoCal Workers Comp offer you their legal knowledge and medical resources to potentially secure additional compensation that can provide meaningful lifetime assistance. And we charge no fees upfront! You do not pay us unless we qualify you for compensation. Call or schedule a free consultation with us today.

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If you suffered a work injury, you have rights, and deserve justice.  Let us handle it from here and bring you the justice you deserve.

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