Q: I was hurt at work and do not think I can return to this same field of work. Is the insurance carrier required to help pay for me to learn a new trade?
If you qualify under certain criteria, you may be eligible for a SJDV (Supplemental Job Displacement Voucher). There are different criteria to meet depending on your date of injury. For example, for injuries between 1/1/04 and 12/31/12 the voucher is offered when your Permanent Disability (PD) level has been determined, either by way of an agreement between the worker and the employer or insurance company or by way of an award by a workers’ compensation judge.
However, for or injuries on or after 1/1/13, the SJDV is due 60 days after a treating doctor, agreed medical evaluator (AME), or qualified medical evaluator (QME) declares you permanent and stationary, and issues a report outlining your work capacities, if the employer does not offer you a job.
Regardless of your date of injury, the offered job must pay no less than 85% of your earnings at the time of the injury, and it must be expected to last at least 12 months. You also must have the ability to perform the essential functions of the job and the job must be located within reasonable commuting distance of your residence at the time of injury.