Created in 1945 amidst the ending of World War II, the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (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 due to returning to employment. To temper this concern, the SIBTF was instituted as a buffer, holding the employer accountable only for the new work injury, yet providing a resource to the veteran employee who could no longer easily compete in the labor market as result of the combination of the work injury on top of their pre-existing disabilities. Today, many employees from different lines of work are equally eligible to receive SIBTF benefits.
SIBTF benefits were fashioned to support employees who suffered from some type of preexisting disability, yet despite their disability were able to find work – only to get injured again at this work. To qualify for SIBTF benefits, an individual must be substantially limited by the cumulative effects of their pre-existing and work-related disabilities. The SIBTF provides these injured workers with lifetime payments that help them support themselves and their families.
Most injured workers are not even aware of the SIBTF and the benefits they may be entitled to. Even many attorneys and law firms that practice in the field of workers’ compensation may not be familiar with handling SIBTF cases due to their complexities and differences from other workers’ compensation cases.
However, at Ghitterman, Ghitterman, & Feld, we make identifying and handling SIBTF cases a priority, which has allowed our firm to develop substantial expertise in handling these cases. Our firm employs full-time staff solely focused on handling SIBTF cases. We continue to prosecute many of these cases, making them a focus 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, including SIBTF cases. We also assist other lawyers in handling these claims for their clients and provide referral fees on these cases.
If you are a fellow attorney who would like to reach out to discuss referring a SIBTF case to our firm or has questions about our approach to handling SIBTF cases, we would be happy to speak with you. To reach us, you can call 805-214-8888, 559-214-8888, or 661-214-8888 or fill out our Contact Us form.