California Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF) Attorney
Everyone deserves the opportunity to be employed, and everyone should have the opportunity to collect benefits if they are injured on the job. That’s a core tenet of the workers’ compensation program. But what happens when someone has a pre-existing condition and then exacerbates that condition in a workplace injury? Can they be compensated for both? The answer is yes, and the means of doing so is the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF). Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld helps injured workers navigate what can be a very detail-oriented legal process.
At Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld, your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.
They are well organized, very knowledgeable of the workers' compensation industry, and have had an excellent reputation for many years.- Nadine
Ben Feld was a terrific attorney as he guided me through the disability process. Most importantly, he would return my calls or my texts very quickly. I cannot recommend GG&F more highly. They make you feel like family.- Kellie D.
Mr. Feld got me my SSDI in 2 month on contingency, which was greatly appreciated! That was 2 years faster than the nightmares that everyone hears about. I was crying! It was a miracle! I am so thankful and grateful!!! Thank you so much Benjamin Feld!!!- Kathy G.
What Is the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund?
Created in 1945 amidst the ending of World War II, the SIBTF was created to encourage employers to hire returning disabled veterans. Many employers were concerned that they would be held fully financially responsible when a previously disabled veteran was re-injured during the course of their employment. To temper this concern, the SIBTF was instituted as a buffer, holding the employer accountable only for the new work injury yet providing appropriate resources to the veteran employee. Today, SIBTF benefits have been expanded to include pre-existing disabilities that may not have been suffered due to military service.
Thus, when an employee is injured on the job, the workers’ compensation program covers their basic injury. The SIBTF program covers the medical fallout from their preexisting condition.
How Do You Qualify for SIBTF Benefits?
Four basic conditions must be met to get SIBTF benefits:
- There must be a pre-existing disability.
- There must be a subsequent workplace injury.
- The pre-existing condition and subsequent injury combined must result in at least 70% permanent disability.
- The new injury must be responsible for at least half (35%) of that disability.
The injured worker can qualify for monetary payments if these four elements are established. However, the process of proving these points can be complicated.
Questions that have to be answered include the following:
- Where is the evidence that a pre-existing condition did, in fact, exist? It’s not necessary that the employee be aware of the condition prior to the subsequent injury, but there will still be medical documentation required.
- What constitutes 70 percent disability? This is a subjective judgment and requires medical testimony to that effect.
- The same question applies to the 35 percent threshold for the new injury.
- Once the thresholds are established, it must still be determined what portion of coverage should be paid by workers’ compensation and what will be eligible for SIBTF benefits.
Our California SIBTF claim attorneys have been handling these cases for over 65 years. We have deep experience in the complexities of what’s required to get all the benefits our clients are entitled to.
The Legal Focus Our Clients Deserve
GG&F prioritizes identifying and handling SIBTF cases, which has allowed our firm to develop substantial knowledge in these cases. Furthermore, we have full-time staff focused solely on handling SIBTF work. These cases are a focal point of our practice.
We are passionate about ensuring that no stone is left unturned and looking for all possible claims when we meet with a prospective client. We also assist other lawyers in handling these claims for their clients and provide referral fees on these cases.
Call Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld at (805) 243-2179 today.
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