As time passes, we are handling less and less pre-January 1, 2013 injuries. As such, we are going to be encountering more instances where settling a voucher becomes an issue.
Per Labor Code §4658.7, for injuries that occurred on or after January 1, 2013, if an employer does not offer permanent regular, modified or alternative work to an injured worker with permanent disability, the employer is required to issue a $6,000.00 Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit (SJDB) voucher. The voucher cannot be settled for cash. Time and time again, however, cases are settled when there is a good faith dispute as to whether the applicant is entitled to a voucher.
In Beltran v. Structural Steel Fabricators, (2016) 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 366, the applicant filed a cumulative trauma claim. The defendant denied the claim as being post-termination. The parties had submitted a Compromise and Release which included Beltran’s potential entitlement to a SJDB voucher.