Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that covers expenses related to a work-related injury or illness. It is purchased by employers to prevent employees from suing their employer for their work-related injuries. In most states, workers’ compensation is required as soon as an employer has one or more employees. Workers’ compensation insurance companies must pay for an employee’s temporary disability payments. However, states differ on how much compensation is required.
The Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF), formerly known as the Subsequent Injuries Fund, provides benefits for people involved in on-the-job catastrophic injuries. It provides an additional source of compensation for employees injured at work. In order to receive the SIBTF benefits, the injured employee must have had a disability or impairment at the time of their injury. Nearly all states have a Subsequent Injuries Fund. In California specifically, for benefits to be paid from the SIBT, the combined effect of the work-related injury plus the previous impairment or disability must result in a current disability of 70% or more.
The fund allows employers to not worry about being liable for the previous disabilities or impairments of employees. In short, the fund enables and encourages employers to hire employees who have disabilities or impairments.
The payments from the SIBTF are supervised by each state as a surcharge imposed upon employers in proportion to their payrolls. In that regard, for employees with very serious injuries, the SIBTF permits the employee to receive compensation commensurate with her overall impairment or disability. The employer is not held liable for more than the amount due for a recent injury. In other words, the employer is not held liable for the employee’s previous disability.
Each state is different with its own set of requirements. In general, the employee must fill out an application for the benefits. You can find the necessary paperwork with your state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation department.
An attorney is recommended for filing a claim against the Subsequent Injuries Fund because it is a complicated area of the law. An employment attorney can help you file a workers’ compensation claim for a subsequent injury. Also, hiring a lawyer can help ensure that a valid claim is protected.