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SUBSEQUENT INJURIES

"The Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF) provides additional compensation to injured workers who already had a disability or impairment at the time of injury. For benefits to be paid from the SIBTF, the combined effect of the injury and the previous disability or impairment must result in a permanent disability of at least 70 percent. The fund enables employers to hire disabled workers without fear of being held liable for the effects of previous disabilities or impairments. SIBTF benefit checks are issued to injured workers by the SIBTF Claims Unit after benefits are awarded by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board."

The statutory test is: "If an employee who is permanently partially disabled receives a subsequent compensable injury resulting in additional permanent partial disability so that the degree of disability caused by the combination of both disabilities is greater than that which would have resulted from the subsequent injury alone, and the combined effect of the last injury and the previous disability or impairment is a permanent disability equal to 70 percent or more of total, he shall be paid in addition to the compensation due under this code for the permanent partial disability caused by the last injury compensation for the remainder of the combined permanent disability existing after the last injury as provided in this article; provided, that either (a) the previous disability or impairment affected a hand, an arm, a foot, a leg, or an eye, and the permanent disability resulting from the subsequent injury affects the opposite and corresponding member, and such latter permanent disability, when considered alone and without regard to, or adjustment for, the occupation or age of the employee, is equal to 5 percent or more of total, or (b) the permanent disability resulting from the subsequent injury, when considered alone and without regard to or adjustment for the occupation or the age of the employee, is equal to 35 percent or more of total." LC §4751

Label Item Links Comments
Labor Code Definition LC §4751  
  Such additional compensation is not in addition to but shall be reduced.....
LC §4753  
Regulations/Rules Workers' Compensation Appeals Board regs 8 CCR §§10940-10945  
Cases Subsequent Injuries Fund v. I. A. C. (1957) 151 Cal. App. 2d 606

Escobedo: the effect of apportionment
SIF v. IAC


Escobedo en banc
Forms Application form Application  
Websites Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF) SIBTF  
Practice Tips This is a tricky area of the law. Review the cases carefully. Consult specialists such as Butts & Johnson.
Note that recovery is limited to permanent disability and that attorney fees are paid every two weeks, not in a lump sum. There are also credits under LC §4753. While there is no statute of limitations, there is a reasonableness standard. The previous disability had to be labor-disabling, so pre-existing asymptomatic pathology does not count. See Escobedo, pp. 17 et seq.
   
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