SJDB Vouchers Can Now Be Resolved for SB 863 InjuriesDecember 6, 2016
by Jessie Zaylia
Per Beltran v. Structural Steel Fabricators (2016) 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 366, parties may resolve Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits ("SJDB vouchers") regardless of whether a date of injury occurred before, on, or after 1/1/2013.
In this case, the applicant claimed a work-related back injury in 2015 that was denied based upon a post-termination defense. The parties agreed to settle via a compromise and release, which included resolution of the SJDB voucher. The judge, without the parties’ agreement, included language in the settlement and order approving that the voucher could not be settled pursuant to Labor Code section 4658.7(g) (which precludes settlement of SJDB vouchers for dates of injury on/after 1/1/2013).
Upon Defendant’s petition for reconsideration, the Board found that, although an injured worker generally may not settle out his/her right to the SJDB on an accepted SB 863 injury (which would include any injury occurring on or after 1/1/13), the voucher may be resolved where there is at least one good-faith dispute as to injury AOE/COE and/or liability for injury to one or more body parts, which could, if resolved against the injured worker, defeat all of the his/her rights to recover benefits.