Don't Overlook the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund
By Amy C. Leung, Esq.
Did you know the State of California provides a benefit for some disabled workers who are injured on the job and already have a prior disability? It's called the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF). The California legislature created the SIBTF in 1945 to encourage employers to hire disabled workers, without the worry of being fully responsible for pre-existing disabilities.
Qualifying for the SIBTF can be complicated, which is why usually only injured workers represented by an attorney apply. To qualify for the benefits, the work injury and pre-existing disability must, when combined, equal at least 70 percent permanent disability. The new work injury must cause at least 35 percent permanent disability without any adjusting factors that come into play, with some exceptions. If an injured worker qualifies, the State of California will help make up the difference between the person's overall disability and the amount of disability from the "subsequent" work injury alone.
The application itself is also very tricky. Social Security Disability or disability pension benefits come into play, and there is legal and medical evidence that must be taken into account. There are also various exceptions.
But, even though this is a very complex area of Workers' Compensation law, it is an avenue for benefits that is well worth exploring with the guidance of an experienced, knowledgeable attorney.
The lawyers at Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, LLP (GEK) are well-versed in the intricacies of the SIBTF, and have successfully identified and obtained valuable SIBTF benefits for seriously injured workers. If you would like to speak with a GEK attorney about your legal options, please call 213-739-7000 or click here.