Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund in Orange County & the State of California

The SIBTF is an important resource for workers in Orange County, California, who have pre-existing disabilities and suffer a subsequent work-related injury. It reflects California’s commitment to supporting disabled workers and promoting their participation in the workforce.

However, navigating the SIBTF application process can be complex. Many applicants seek assistance from a specialized workers’ compensation attorney in Santa Ana, CA to help them gather necessary medical evidence, properly document the pre-existing disability, and present a strong case for SIBTF benefits.

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What is the Subsequent Injuries Benefit Trust Fund?

The Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF) in California is a state program designed to provide additional compensation to workers who suffer a work-related injury or illness that compounds with a pre-existing disability, resulting in a combined disability that is significantly more severe than the work-related injury alone. 

The idea behind the SIBTF is to encourage the hiring of workers who have pre-existing disabilities by offering a safety net that provides additional benefits if they are further injured on the job. Here’s how the SIBTF works, with a focus on its application within Orange County as part of the broader California system.

What’s the purpose of SIBTF?

The intention behind SIBTF is two-fold:

  • To Encourage Employment: By offering this benefit, the state aims to encourage employers to hire or retain workers who have pre-existing disabilities, knowing that additional costs from a subsequent injury will be supplemented by the SIBTF, aka the state of California. 
  • To Provide Adequate Compensation: SIBTF helps ensure that workers with pre-existing disabilities who suffer a subsequent work-related injury receive adequate compensation for their combined disabilities.

Who qualifies for SIBTF?

According to the California Labor Code §4751, to qualify for benefits from the SIBTF, a worker in must meet several criteria:

  • Subsequent Injury at Work: The worker must have suffered a new work-related injury or illness that qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits.
  • Pre-existing Disability: Before the work-related injury, the worker must have had a pre-existing permanent disability (PD) or impairment.
  • Combined Disability Rating: The combined disability of the pre-existing condition must meet a threshold of 35% whole-person impairment (WPI) or a 5% WPI for corresponding body parts, such as an injured arm on an old claim and the new claim having an injured arm on the adjacent side. In addition, the subsequent injury must reach a certain threshold, typically significantly higher than the disability rating for the new injury alone. The combined disability rating must be at least 70% or more, where the subsequent injury (most current injury) contributes at least 35% to the combined rating or the 5% and 5% corresponding body parts mentioned above. 
  • Employment at Time of Injury: The worker must have been employed at the time the subsequent injury occurred, leading to the claim.

How do I file a SIBTF in California?

Workers who believe they qualify for SIBTF benefits must first file a claim for worker’s compensation and receive a permanent disability rating for their subsequent injury. It is wise to hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer to handle this for you as the process is complicated and cumbersome.

Once the workers’ compensation claim is resolved, the worker (often with the help of an attorney) can apply for SIBTF benefits by filing a claim with the California Department of Industrial Relations.

What is the Subsequent Injuries Benefit Trust Fund

What are the benefits of SIBTF?

The SIBTF provides additional compensation to cover the gap between the compensation received for the work-related injury and the overall impact of the combined disabilities. This can include financial compensation for lost wages and medical treatment related to the combined effect of the disabilities.

Do note that the duration and amount of SIBTF benefits can vary, depending on the total combined disability rating and other factors related to the worker’s employment history and earnings.

Which workers’ compensation attorney near me in Santa Ana, CA can help me realize SIBTF benefits?

The California Workers Compensation Lawyers comprises established professionals with extensive knowledge of the SIBTF process and everything it entails. Over 20+ years of our tenure, we’ve helped thousands of injured workers on either side of Santa Ana River realize hundreds of millions in benefits. Today, we’re here to do the same for you! Reach out to us and let us be your sword and shield in the fight for your rights!