The Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF), is a program managed by the the (DWC) California Division of Workers' Compensation (found at https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/ ) that encourages workers with pre-existing disabilities to seek employment and encourages employers to hire these disabled workers. The SIBTF fund 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.
According to the California Department of Industrial Relations at https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/claims.html
The Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF) is a source of additional compensation to injured workers who already had a disability or impairment at the time of injury. For benefits to be paid from the SIBTF, the combined effect of the injury and the previous disability or impairment must result in a permanent disability of at least 70 percent. The fund enables employers to hire disabled workers without fear of being held liable for the effects of previous disabilities or impairments. SIBTF benefit checks are issued to injured workers by the SIBTF Claims Unit after benefits are awarded by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.
According to California Legislative Information found at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=LAB&division=4.&title=&part=2.&chapter=2.&article=5.
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."
SIBTF cases are highly complex and require an astute knowledge of the intricacies in performing SIBTF evaluations. At CSE, we take pride in assisting injured workers obtain a comprehensive, intellectually defendable, accurate, timely and impartial SIBTF evaluation to help determine if they will potentially qualify for SIBTF benefits.
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