Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF)
The SIBTF is a program managed by the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). The SIBTF program encourages workers with pre-existing disabilities to seek employment and encourages employers to hire these disabled workers. The SIBTF ensures this by potentially providing injured workers with pre-existing impairments that suffer from a qualifying subsequent industrial injury to receive SIBTF benefits, despite having pre-existing disability. CSE has highly trained and specialized physicians to properly document all impairments affecting the applicant to help you prepare for these complex SIBTF cases.
CA Labor Code § 4751
California Labor code 4751 concerning the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF) states that, “If an employee who is permanently partially disabled receives a subsequent compensable injury resulting in additional permanent partial disability so that the degree of disability caused by the combination of both disabilities is greater than that which would have resulted from the subsequent injury alone, and the combined effect of the last injury and the previous disability or impairment is a permanent disability equal to 70 percent or more of total, he shall be paid in addition to the compensation due under this code for the permanent partial disability caused by the last injury compensation for the remainder of the combined permanent disability existing after the last injury as provided in this article; provided, that either (a) the previous disability or impairment affected a hand, an arm, a foot, a leg, or an eye, and the permanent disability resulting from the subsequent injury affects the opposite and corresponding member, and such latter permanent disability, when considered alone and without regard to, or adjustment for, the occupation or age of the employee, is equal to 5 percent or more of total, or (b) the permanent disability resulting from the subsequent injury, when considered alone and without regard to or adjustment for the occupation or the age of the employee, is equal to 35 percent or more of total.”
What are the thresholds to pre-qualify for the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund?
- The injured worker must have a pre-existing permanent disability that is labor disabling.
- The worker MUST have suffered a subsequent industrial injury that resulted in impairment.
- To pre-qualify, the subsequent industrial injury must equal at least 35% permanent disability OR there must be a pre-existing impairment affecting a hand, arm, foot, leg, or an eye, and the permanent disability resulting from the subsequent industrial injury affects the opposite and corresponding member, with at least a 5% permanent disability rating.
- To potentially qualify for SIBTF benefits, the combination of pre-existing impairment and impairment caused by the subsequent industrial injury must total at least 70% permanent disability.
How to prepare an SIBTF case
- Preliminary Analysis for pre-qualification is required.
- Gathering pre-existing medical records for the applicant.
- Referring the applicant to CSE for an initial SIBTF evaluation.
Our primary SIBTF specialties
- Internal Medicine
- Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
- Additional specialties available
How to complete the SIBTF process
- Timely completion of Initial SIBTF report.
- Effective scheduling of any required SIBTF evaluations if needed.
- Assistance with Vocational Rehabilitation Expert opinions if needed.
- The Initial SIBTF evaluator will then provide a Final Report of all issues incorporating the medical opinions of the specialty physicians to provide the substantial medical evidence needed to settle the SIBTF case.